What is Mindfulness?
- Similar to meditation practice but more
- Staying in the present moment, bringing self-back to present moment when you wander e.g. Worry, over react, let your emotions take over.
- Bring your attention back to your chosen present focus or goal
(e.g. Nailing your role, letting go of ref’s decision & refocus on the ‘controllables’
Why mindfulness is the secret weapon in sport…….
The answers to all the problems and challenges you face in sport do not lie in what happened or what could or may happen in the future but live totally in the now!
Mindfulness is all about living in the ‘NOW’. This is much easier said than done. Most athletes who have not trained their minds live in regret, disappointment, fear, anxiety or should of/could of/would of mental patterns.
Moment to moment, breath to breath choose to do what is best in the circumstances, unaffected by the past or lost in the infinite possibilities of the future. Your secret weapon awaits you by remaining totally engaged and ready to do whatever it takes in each new now.
A missed tackle, lapse in concentration, fall in mid-competition, bad referee decision, a twist of fortune in weather conditions…the list of challenges is endless. The ideal starting point to solve these and any challenge is to be present, focused and deeply in the now which is being mindful and thus non-judgemental of yourself.
Perfect reactions and responses are difficult to guarantee without a wholehearted understanding of elite athletes’ secret weapon – MINDFULNESS
Let’s delve further into your secret weapon…….
Research shows Mindfulness is used for:
- Panic disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Drug and alcohol issues
- Symptom Control
- Coping & é resilience
- Chronic pain
- é neural plasticity
- Immune regulation (Anti-inflammatory)
- é Immune function
- Facilitating behav. & Lifestyle Change
- Improving sleep.
Benefits of Mindfulness
- Be in the NOW more often
- Centres & Grounds you in current moment
- Improves focus here and now
- Improves concentration
- Sharpness of thoughts – leads to- sharpness of action
- Make better decisions in real time on the field
- Ready to act and react in the best possible way
- Great tool to help master your emotions like:
- Nerves, Fear, Frustration & Anger
- Helps to free you of negative thoughts
- Don’t do things on auto pilot- this is mindlessly doing things (being vacant & not present)
- Clarity for problem solving
- Helps develop better interpersonal interaction – helps improves team cohesion
- Bi-product- Relaxation/calming effect
- In the NOW- It’s hard to ruminate or dwell on the past or worry about the future.
- Facilitates ‘LET GO’
- Improves self-awareness of thoughts, emotions, environment
- Improves functional performance
Mindfulness aims to:
- Focus your whole attention in the ‘NOW’ or current moment
- Stay in the present moment
- Bring yourself back to present moment when your mind wanders
- g. Worry, over react, let your emotions take over.
- Bring your attention back to your chosen focus or goal
Biggest benefit of mindfulness is –
HELPS YOU GET INTO THE ZONE
How to become Mindful?
- Observe or notice your thoughts
- Describe it, label it or name it
- Let Go
MINDFUL THOUGHTS EXAMPLE
Thought “What a stupid error. I’m an idiot”.
- Be aware of or Notice the thought
- Describe the thought as ‘put down thought” or “negative thought”. ‘Frustrating thought” “Angry thought”…….
- Let go. Move into new NOW.
- Notice judgements & let go
- Judgements e.g.; good or bad, should or shouldn’t
- Try to step back & describe it impartially.
- Stay focused on chosen focus i.e. Team process, Best self, excellent verbal triggers, nailing the detail of your role.
- Mindfulness takes great discipline and mental toughness
Key elements to remember:
- Observe – what going on in your mind and body.
- Describe: label it – without judgment