Going for a win is the focus of most games. Yet, in one of the more confusing aspects of sports, the more players think about winning the more likely they are to lose. For players to be successful, they have to stay focused on the immediate situation. Any thoughts of how something may affect a win are thoughts that are not available for making a play.
Games test players' ability to stay in the present. A bad call, a quick score or an increasing gap in scoring all provide things to think about that have nothing to do with making the next play. The more players think about the past or the future, the less time they have to think about the present.
A quick way for players to stay focused is to remember that the current time in any game is always "now". Whether a team is ahead, behind or tied, players should play smart and with intensity. When players start thinking about anything outside the "now", they open themselves up to mistakes. Good things and bad things happen in every game. However, until the game is over, time spent celebrating, grieving or complaining is just time that would be better spent thinking about "now".