Sport And Meditation: The Importance Of Mindfulness In Training
Associating meditation with sports grants significant benefits, as it allows you to increase endurance and concentration, while at the same time removing stress and negative thoughts.
The practice of meditation is very important not only for the well-being of the mind but also because it allows you to get better results when you train.
Mindfulness, What It Is and Why It is Important
To have a high performance in sport, proper training and a healthy lifestyle are not always enough: it is also essential to find a psycho-physical balance and this goal can be easily achieved thanks to meditation.
In fact, during a workout, especially if we have set ourselves a specific goal, it is necessary to stay focused and remove stress: a result that we can achieve by practicing mindfulness.
By mindfulness we mean the achievement of self-awareness and reality in the present moment and in a non-judgmental way: this awareness allows you to remove negative thoughts and emotions, recognizing that it is a product of our mind and as such can be controlled and pushed away.
This awareness can be achieved by practicing particular meditation techniques deriving from those employed in Buddhism.
Benefits Of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice increasingly used by psychologists in the treatment of various diseases or to help in the solution of some problems. Scientific research supports its benefits and effectiveness through rigorous tests, both inside and outside the laboratory.
From pain relief to stress and anxiety reduction to emotional management, mindfulness is capable of alleviating numerous conditions. But what would its benefits really be?
1: Increase in academic performance.
2: Significant reduction in anxiety symptoms.
3: Greater stress management.
4: Emotional control
5: Relief of symptoms associated with diseases with pain.
6: Protection and prevention of mental illnesses.
7: Increased self-esteem.
In any sports training, as in all the activities we carry out in our day to day, our brain plays a crucial role. It determines how focused we are, performance, execution, and success. Without mindfulness, no activity will end up being successful, or at least what it should.
Through these simple guidelines, we can implement mindfulness in our sports sessions:
1. Don’t give importance to thoughts
We tend to get overwhelmed and distracted by everything that goes through our minds. We end up giving it excessive importance and we stop being focused on the present moment.
Assume that thoughts are just that, thoughts, that at that moment have no real function but are there. Instead of fighting them, accept them and they will end up leaving.
2. Accept yourself
Assume that what you are doing is going as it should be at that moment, neither better nor worse. Accept that this is your current state and that you will have time to improve. You are what you are in the present moment and this is where you should train.
3. Be curious
Pay attention to the effect of the movements you are doing, what it generates in your muscles, and in your emotions. Empower it by focusing on the results you are having.
Do not forget the moments of calm and conscious breathing, both in the series and in the breaks. It will help you oxygenate your body and brain, producing an improvement in recovery capacity.
5. Be patient
Improving results is a matter of practice and consistency. A process that is never linear, but is made up of ups and downs, very good moments, and others that are not so good. But with time you will see the results.
The Importance Of Meditation In Sport.
The mindfulness techniques contribute to achieving sport, concentration, and relaxation. The constant practice of meditation in sports, whether before or after a workout, especially before an important competition, can bring numerous benefits.
Meditation in sports allows you to increase the pain threshold and support more intense workout rhythms. Meditation allows you to help detach your mind from negative thoughts, helping you focus on training. The athlete thus becomes master of his own body, effectively increasing performance and mental awareness.
Finally, the practice of mindfulness allows you to remove stress, which can negatively affect a workout, and above all, during a competition. Practicing meditation before training or close to a competition, therefore helps to reduce stress levels, promoting serenity, clarity, and concentration.
Meditation For Athletes
Surely if you have been meditating for a while you will have discovered the benefits that meditation has for athletes in the performance of their activities.
The mantra that we follow in Base is hard training, a healthy and balanced diet, and, how could it be otherwise, a deep rest through sleep and meditation techniques that help us feel in contact with our body and mind.
Some of the benefits that have been demonstrated in meditation for athletes are the aid to concentration, from exercises to focus attention; reduction of pain; fight fear; strengthens the immune system, improves stamina and stress levels.
Meditation helps us achieve clarity of mind over time. One of the main problems of athletes is the inability to concentrate on a goal, and many times, external factors can cause weakness within a sports competition. Fortunately or unfortunately, elite athletes train hard throughout the year so they cannot afford a bad day at a major competition.
Pau Gasol, Novak Djovanovic, and Michael Jordan are three elite athletes who practice meditation routinely and continuously in their lives.
The Spanish NBA star recounted for an interview how he learned to meditate from the hands of his fellow Los Angeles Lakers and his coach, who, from time to time, made them train in silence and almost in the dark, or substitute a whole day of training for a meditation session.
The relationship between sport and meditation is more closely linked than is popularly thought.
Recommendations for meditation in athletes
In theory, athletes should wear nice clothes in their workouts, but to perform meditation exercises it is essential to feel comfortable or comfortable, with clothes made of soft, pleasant fabrics. It is recommended to find the perfect temperature, so as to avoid being too hot or cold to try not to distract the mind with external agents.
Choose a pleasant space
Choosing a comfortable, pleasant, and safe place will help us improve the technique of meditation and focus our attention. Professionals often recommend avoiding meditation in garish, crowded, or cluttered rooms and spaces, as they do not contribute at all to mental clarity.
Meditation for athletes is not much different from traditional meditation. Breathing is one of the keys in any sport and also in the art of meditation. Controlling breathing is the main objective of athletes who are new to this science. Doing breathing exercises that combine intervals of inhaling and exhaling is of great help for all types of athletes.
Tips for beginners
Sometimes it is difficult to start with the art of meditation and more, for those athletes who have never tried it before. Experts often recommend certain actions to facilitate concentration and avoidance during this process:
Focusing attention on an object: there are people who have real difficulties concentrating on something for a long time. For these people, we propose to begin by using an object to stare at with some hypnotic value, such as a lit candle. Observing the fire will help us to maintain our attention for a longer time.