Pelé is one of the most famous football players in history. One thing is clear to him. Because, according to him, “everything revolves around practice.” Then it would be logical to think that this also applies to mindfulness in sports. The more you practice, the better you get.
Jonathan García-Allen is a sports coach and psychologist. According to him, a significant number of professional athletes have chosen to apply mindfulness in sports. They have preferred mindfulness to using cognitive behavioral therapy, which are so popular today. What is this all about?
What is mindfulness and how is it applied in sports?
Mindfulness is a technique based on focusing all your attention on what you are doing in the present moment. You do this without judgment and with as few filters as possible. The goal is to teach your mind methods so that it can direct thoughts, emotions, reactions and attitudes that can occur in different situations. In this way, mindfulness tries to improve consciousness through positive attitudes, self-knowledge and freedom.
It is clear that this method is ideal for use in sports. After all, a training session, a competition or a confrontation require complete concentration to deliver an excellent performance.
Mindfulness puts you in a state known as “flow.” Have you ever felt like you were so focused on an activity that it seemed like you were floating while doing it? Well, that’s exactly what athletes strive for during the most important moments of their competitions. And through this technique, they can succeed in doing so.
How does mindfulness in sports affect people?
From what we have seen so far, we can conclude that mindfulness is effective for all types of profiles. So it makes sense to think that athletes are no exception. They too can benefit from the advantages and positive effects of this technique. How do you think mindfulness affects athletes?
- Mindfulness is an effective technique for increasing an athlete’s motivation level. Obviously this will be essential to deliver the best performance.
- The level of activation is also crucial for each individual. The more focused and active an athlete is, the more effective he will be in his task.
- This technique also helps to induce optimal stress levels. In this kind of situation, we should not view stress as something negative. Because it is clear that you need stress during a match. And that’s where mindfulness comes into play. It amplifies the stress to reach the best level. This will increase an athlete’s ability.
- We also want to mention that this technique succeeds in increasing the self-esteem and self-confidence of an individual. It stands to reason that it is essential for a good competition that an athlete fully rely on his abilities.
- In addition, mindfulness is very helpful in interpreting success and failure. An athlete may end his career when he is no longer successful. Then he may experience a constant sense of failure. But with a sensible and balanced view of things, his judgment will reach a point of coherent common sense.
- This method also works as an effective tool to unite a team of athletes. Because mindfulness can create an optimal group atmosphere. This will have positive effects on the interpersonal relationships within a group of people.
Mindfulness in sports as a manager of emotions
As you can see, when properly practiced, mindfulness can be a very effective technique in sports. It expresses the confidence of the athletes so that they reach an optimal level of performance. In this way people accept their emotions and thoughts. They control them naturally and have no need to change or remove them.
This technique attempts to achieve self-knowledge and a state of emotional control. This will allow effective control and not removal. This is how we get into “the flow.” It is the moment when everything begins to flow and seem in perfect harmony. It is a state where the activities you are performing seem to require absolutely no effort at all.
Moreover, this is the key: achieving a state of powerful acceptance in the present moment. People get carried away and enjoy the moment in the present, instead of thinking about it and trying to control everything. This behavior increases concentration, keeps negative thoughts at bay and enables greater sports performance.
And that’s how we know that mindfulness in sports can be a very useful and effective technique to increase the performance of athletes. For you are in a state of emotional equilibrium where everything flows effortlessly. You express the best of yourself. This will not only be a challenge but also a state for you to enjoy.