MILITARY MONDAYS: Preparing for the ACFT, learning how to improve performance with attention quadrants

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 3:04 PM CDT
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FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - For this week’s Military Monday, 7News reporter, Hunter McEachern, got a few tips from a fitness instructor on Fort Sill to help improve her technique for the ACFT events. Hunter also met with a master resilience trainer and performance expert to learn how to improve her performance by using attention quadrants.

SGT. Amanda Hunt is well-versed when it comes to the Army Combat Fitness Test. For her, it is a lifestyle, which is why Hunter sought out her advice.

“I never think to myself how can I pass the ACFT,” said Sgt. Hunt, pregnancy and postpartum instructor trainer. “I think about my overall health and being a widely varied athlete, I guess you could say.”

Sgt. Hunt trains with Olympic lifting, power lifting, traditional body building and also high intensity interval training.

During their one-on-one session, Sgt. Hunt gave Hunter some pointers that will help her master the six events of the Army Combat Fitness Test.

After her one-on-one in the gym, Hunter headed to her one-on-one in the classroom.

Hunter met with master resilience trainer and performance expert, Briana Salter, again this week.

Hunter and Salter talked about the power of attention and how mastering it can better your performance, specifically by utilizing the attention quadrants.

“Is my attention broad? Am I taking in a lot of information? Or is it narrow? I’m very narrow focused on one specific thing,” said Salter. “Then in the other direction, we’re looking at attention in terms of is it internal? So am I focused on something that is inside of me, or am I taking in information outside of me, so external.”

This is especially important for soldiers out in the field.

“No matter the performance, if I know where I need to pay attention, which style of attention I need to be in, I’m going to be able to set myself up for success in that performance, regardless of the conditions,” said Salter.

Salter said utilizing cue words or phrases helps garner that attention.

“When we’re thinking about soldiers, a big one in terms of rifle marksmanship is center mass, so they know that they want to aim at center mass on target,” said Salter. “If you just say ‘center mass’ that takes up your attentional capacity. My eyesight is going to go to directly to center mass, and I just repeat that over and over in my head and that’s a cue word that’s just going to direct my attention to that spot on the target.”

Salter said one-on-one mastery sessions are available for soldiers. In them, the performance experts work with the soldiers through different performances, both those they complete in uniform and those outside of work.

Join us again next Monday at 10 p.m. as Hunter and Fort Sill health experts go over her nutrition program to assist with her ACFT training.

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