By Bhavan Kumar
Is meditation for athletes effective? An athlete is not the first thing that springs to mind when you think of meditation. Chanting, incense, and monks might be more likely associations for it, but meditation can be an incredibly effective tool for athletes. Meditation was once the domain solely of the religious or mystical but now we know its benefits apply in a host of other settings. Meditation is a way of training the mind, which is as important a factor in athletic success as physical training.
Control the Mind
One of the essential elements of meditation for athletes is the ability to calm and control the mind. An undisciplined mind is a monkey mind, racing from one thing to another and easily distracted by changing surroundings or situations. These kinds of distractions are often the downfall of top athletes who need to focus everything on the task at hand and the end goal. Meditation can teach an athlete how to empty his mind and keep it focused on one thing at a time.
An exciting aspect of modern athletics is that competitions are frequently won or lost based on a few seconds or even less. Physical conditioning is so thorough and complete that it is essentially a science. Athletes undergo virtually identical physical training rituals and have their bodies fine-tuned to such a degree that their abilities are sometimes almost equal. Mental fitness can make a huge difference in such circumstances. An athlete with a highly trained mind naturally stands a better chance against an equally physically prepared opponent.
Meditation and visualization can also help an athlete succeed. Clearing the mind allows athletes to “see” themselves performing at their peak and visualize their victory. The power of visualization is often underestimated. However, athletes who use visualization techniques can significantly improve their performance. When you imagine, you effectively create a mental rehearsal of your desired outcome.
Meditation for athletes programs the mind for success. This means that you are more likely to achieve your goal if you have already visualized yourself doing so. There are many different ways to imagine. You can use techniques such as guided imagery or mental rehearsal. Guided imagery involves picturing yourself in the successful completion of your athletic event. This can be done with a coach’s help or by recording.
How Does it Work?
Mental rehearsal is similar to guided imagery but doesn’t require external aids. You imagine yourself going through the motions of your event from start to finish. Visualization can help improve your performance by:
1. Increasing your confidence
2. Helping you focus on your goals
3. Improving your muscle memory
4. Reducing stress and anxiety
Mantra Meditation for Athletes
A mantra can help the athlete focus during meditation and their competitions. The mantra can be a phrase stating what the athlete wants to achieve, such as “I will run faster,” and repeating it repeatedly is a soothing and empowering act. When considering mantras for improving athletic performance, there are a few things to remember.
First, your mantra should be something you can easily remember and recite. Second, it should be something that has personal meaning to you. Third, it should be something you can focus on while competing or training.
With those things in mind, here are a few examples of mantras that could help improve your athletic performance:
1. “I am strong.”
2. “I am capable.”
3. “I am determined.”
4. “I am focused.”
5. “I am the best.”
Reciting these mantras before or during your competition or training can help to improve your focus and performance. Please choose the one that resonates with you the most, and practice reciting it so that it becomes second nature.
Safe and Legal
Modern competitive and professional athletics is a highly regimented and frequently stressful world. The margin for error is almost nonexistent, and the stakes are very high. Unlike drugs and steroids, meditation for athletes is a safe and legal way to gain an advantage over the competition. Maintaining a calm mind in competition is difficult, but meditation can make it more achievable.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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