It was the fourth quarter on December 13, 2009, and Brandon Marshall, the former Denver Broncos' wide receiver, had 18 catches against the Indianapolis Colts, but he wasn't counting. In fact, he had no idea he was two catches away from tying Terrell Owens' single-game receptions record and three away from beating it.
That is, until one of his teammates came up to him on the sideline and informed him. "That's when his whole focus shifted," Graham Betchart, the director of mental training at Lucid Performance, tells CNBC Make It. He began to think about that 21-catch mark. "His energy changed to someone obsessed with results."
Worrying not about results, says Betchart, but about what you can control — attitude, effort and focus — is the key to success.
"Having an extremely positive attitude, having your effort be everything you've got, and then simply focusing on the task at hand," says Betchart, those are the things you need to do.
And those are the things you can use in your career to thrive. Misplacing your attention on what is out of your hands, like your sales numbers or a judge's decision or a surgery outcome, will cost you.
It certainly cost the Broncos. They decided they wanted to help Marshall beat the record and would set him up with three easy catches so he could. But, as Marshall told Betchart, the pressure in the huddle was overwhelming. On the very next play, the quarterback, Kyle Orton, threw the ball right into the ground.