It is a known fact that athletes cannot win when they are mentally defeated. An athlete that "doesn't have his head on straight" can rarely perform in a manner that will prove successful. As such, athletes need to employ effective strategies that can aid in developing a clear mind. One way this can be achieved is through integrating the process of meditation into one's sports training.
No, this is not an obtuse concept or one rooted in mysticism. It is simply a process used to train the mind in a manner no different than one would train the body. When the body is strong, it can perform well. The mind is no different. If you can effectively train the mind to conduct itself properly in athletic performance, it will do so. Meditation can definitely work towards attaining such goals.
This is not even a new concept. Russian and Bulgarian athletes initiated the concept of neurogenic conditioning (nervous system conditioning) to improve their performance in athletic events. It definitely worked for them as their results indicate. Other athletes the world over began to employ such tactics. Meditation can be considered a modality of this type of training which is why it is recommended.
Additionally, meditation is not exactly a very difficult process to learn or take part in. Here is a look at how it works in the framework of improving athletic performance:
As previously mentioned, a mind that is not calm cannot effectively perform in an athletic endeavor. Those that are suffering from anxiety and other issues need to reduce such mental noise or else the focus needed for athletic performance will be impossible to attain.
Meditation entails emptying out the mind and calming it. Is it easy to empty out the mind? No, it takes time and deliberate effort to do so. Performing meditation regularly and in the traditional zazen position can certainly help you keep your mind placid even when you are not meditating.
Regular practice of meditation eventually allows the mind to become calm no matter what scenario is presented. For those that need to perform in high pressure sporting events, such calmness will be an enormous attribute.
The employment of a mantra in a meditation session can prove a great help as a precursor to solid athletic performance. A mantra is not a very complicated concept to understand. It simply refers to repeating something to oneself aloud or in thought while meditating. This serves the purpose of helping affirm belief in the mind.
A baseball player could repeat a simple mantra "I will improve my batting" repeatedly in meditation. As simple as this may sound the process can have tremendous results. This is why it remains so highly recommended.
Visualization is also highly recommended. As the name implies, visualization entails imagining yourself performing the athletic endeavor you wish to perform. You will create the image of yourself succeeding in athletics in your mind. Over time, this process could actually help train the body to perform in the manner your mind crafts.
There are many ways to implement meditation for athletic performance. All of them are worth exploring.
About the Author
Abdul Matynne is a fitness enthusiast, currently doing his Masters in Physiology. Visit his website www.exercisegoals.com Exercise and Workouts Database to Build a strong Body with a sound mind.
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