The 3ft World

Quick Video

Reach out your arm. Now turn in a circle and you have created your 3ft world. This is the world that, in reality, we exercise control over.

Explanation from Mark Owens' book "No Hero", and illustrated way better than I can:

For context he is in a climbing course and currently climbing:

"I was officially stuck. I couldn’t go any higher. To be honest, I didn’t want to. For the first time since I started to climb… I’d been so focused on my situation that I’d forgotten all about our instructor. I’d catch him climbing around like Spider Man as he waited for me to set the next cam. It made me nervous watching him because he didn’t use a rope. “Hey man,” he said in a lazy, raspy voice. “Just stay in your three-foot world.” I was a couple of hundred feet up the rock face and I could barely think, let alone decipher his cryptic advice. “What the hell are you talking about, bro?” “Only focus on your three-foot world,” he said. “Focus on what you can affect. You keep looking around, and none of that shit can help you right now, can it?” I shook my head no. “You’re calculating how far you’re going to fall,” the instructor said. “You’re looking down at Jeff, but he’s not going to come up and help. You’re looking out at the Strip. What are you going to do, gamble your way to the top? Don’t look at me. I’m not going to help you either. This is up to you. You’re climbing this rock. Stay in your three-foot world.” I’ll never forget those words: “Stay in your three-foot world.”

So what is your 3ft world?

Common things I see are people spending a lot of energy on things outside of their 3ft. So the question I often ask is: Do you want to try to control everything or do you want to dominate 3ft? You can't really have both.. If you spend significant energy and attention outside of that space you have limited amount of attention and energy for your 3ft. And frankly 3ft IS HARD TO DOMINATE. Why don't we start with our 3ft and once we dominate that space we can have another conversation.

In theory this makes sense. Focus on your thoughts, actions, reactions, preparation because that's what you can actually control. In reality it’s hard and it takes reminders.

3ft is really hard because it’s limiting distractions, resetting from tough moments, managing your activation levels, and staying focused on what’s important. A score board or your stats are certainly more than 3ft away, hell often times the ball is too... so it takes reminders...Whether that's marking out your "work space"/3ft on a mound by dragging your cleat across the dirt, or in a box, or at your desk.. you need those reminders. So what are your reminders? How do you stay focused on your 3ft? How do you dominate just that space?