Being in the present is all about where you place your awareness.
I was climbing with a couple of friends a few weeks back. One was trying to complete a boulder problem that had been something he tried multiple times with swaths of weeks in between attempts. Often, he would get to the last hold and fall. He reaquainted himself the moves and gave it a couple of serious tries, each time falling at some point. He rested before trying again. As he stepped toward the start of the route I said, "please trust me, and before you try this time, go through each move in your mind, completing the entire sequence of moves 3 times before you actually climb this time. If you get interrupted while going through the sequence mentally, start over." He took his time and visualized himself climbing the route 3 times and then got on the route and completed.
No it wasn't magic. It was what the Yogis call : Pratchyahara and Dharana.
These are elements outlined in the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga and the Yoga Sutras.
The yamas and
The niyamas refer to how we interact in the world, like a code of conduct.
Asana, meaning the postures that Yogis practice.
Breath work, called pranayama.
Pratchyahara is the state of sense withdraw. When I asked my friend to rehearse the climb in his mind, I was asking him to draw his attention inward. In other words, to see the route in his mind rather than through his 5 senses. This is important because the mind is quite reactive to the senses. If you look at the image above, the climber's hips are falling out and he lacks awareness because his senses are focused on the hold he is trying to grasp in the right hand.
Dharana is the next stage where the mind becomes focused and able to remain concentrated. This was what was happening for my friend as he climbed the route. His mind remained more present moment focus and on all the elements of each move rather than following the sensory experience of the climb.
Dhyana is the the state of meditation. This is where the awareness can see the movement of the mind and act more as a witness of the thoughts rather than wrapped up in them.
Samadhi is the supreme state of consciousness where awareness joins with universal consciousness.
Not magic, just something the Yogis figured out long before sport science stepped onto the scene. Give this little trick a try and let me know how it works for you.