06/16/2014 04:29 pm ET Updated Jun 16, 2014

How Mindfulness Keeps Athletes' Heads In The Game

The World Cup is officially in full swing, and needless to say, the competition is fierce. Tonight the United States squares off against Ghana, the nemesis that knocked them out of the running in both the 2006 and 2010 tournaments. With the extra pressure to avoid repeating history, how can Team USA's finest keep their heads in the game?

Sports psychology performance coach and author of Your Performing Edge Dr. JoAnn Dahlkoetter joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani today to discuss ways athletes can use mindfulness to focus on the game in the moment rather than the result of their performance.

“There’s a lot of distractions out there,” said Dahlkoetter. “A lot of times athletes get too involved in thinking about the results that have to happen, and they put way too much pressure on themselves. If you can think about just what’s happening at that moment -- I like to give my athletes a little mantra, saying, ‘Just this play, just this kick, just this pass,' -- just keeping your mind on what you need to do that moment, that’s a really good way to practice that mindfulness in the game itself.”

To hear more about how mental preparation and living in the moment can influence an athlete’s game, watch the full HuffPost Live clip in the video above.