“A masterclass in FOCUS …”

Raise Your Inner Game Sports Academy
“A masterclass in FOCUS …”

Saw a tweet the other day with a quote from Michael Jordan, and it just blew my mind how clear and powerful a statement it was on what it really means to be focused as an athlete. 

You hear a lot about the importance of focus and how it’s what sets the greats apart. But it’s not often you get such a clear image of what it actually looks like. 

This is one you’ll want to add to your Inner Game toolbox, for sure. 



  • A perfect illustration of what it means to be focused
  • Focus alone doesn’t make someone great
  • The relationship between focus and training
  • Tips for putting this to use
  • Listen/read to get the full message


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[ transcript ]

The great Michael Jordan was once asked, “What do you think about during a timeout?” You know, Jordan was famous for his focus and intensity. So someone asked him, basically what are you thinking about? And his answer was a masterclass in focus. Here’s what he said: 

“I think about chewing my gum.” 

So, in other words, he’s not thinking at all. He’s just completely present and focused in the moment. 

This is David Levin. Author of Raise Your Inner Game. Founder of Raise Your Inner Game Sports Academy. 

And that statement from Michael Jordan is literally everything you need to know about peak mental performance

Q: What do you think about during the game? 

A: Nothing.

No worries. No doubts. No distractions. Just totally present and focused on what’s happening in the moment. 

That is perfect. And it’s why he was the best.

Now, it’s not the ONLY reason he was the best. And that’s important to keep in mind.

I could develop killer focus like that, as could anyone else who wanted to. Honestly, it’s not that hard, once you understand how the Inner Game works.

So, I could do that, but I’m still not going to play like Michael Jordan.

What focus does is, it unleashes potential. If you have the skills and you train and train and train until they’ve worked themselves into your subconscious and your muscle memory. At that point, great focus makes you great, because it lets all of that training come out. There’s nothing blocking it and keeping you from being your best. And of course, a lack of focus does block it and keep you from being your best.

But all the focus in the world is still only going to get you to the level of your skills and training. 

But having said that, the FOCUS is still the tricky part, right? We know how to train for skills and speed and strength. But how do we develop focus? Can you even do it? Or is it just something you have or you don’t? 

Well, that is what Raise Your Inner Game is about. It turns out that you absolutely can train it, and you can do it quicker and easier than you imagine. 

So, if you’re looking to boost your team’s mental game or your own mental game, you should definitely head over to and check out the resources there. 

But I would also suggest writing down this quote from Michael Jordan and making a plan to sit with it and think about it on a regular basis. 

And I mean really think about it, imagine yourself in that moment, in competition, with everything going on and all the pressure and the excitement and the energy and the noise, and you’re there and you are truly not thinking about anything. You’re just noticing — the feeling of your feet on the ground, or your breath moving in and out, or chewing your gum. 

That is what being present feels like. It’s simply noticing what’s happening rather than thinking about things and being off in your head somewhere. 

And practicing it like that, picturing yourself in that state, having that experience, can have a real effect on you. It helps you understand what focus feels like and makes it easier to get yourself into that state when you need it.

So that is your Focus Masterclass for today. Be like Mike. What are you thinking about? Nothing. 

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