What is the role of Mindfulness in Sports?
The most common application of Mindfulness in sports is in player performance and overcoming negative self-talk and mental blocks all while helping to improve focus, reduce anxiety, and expand their potential. Other areas include coping skills, motivation, and team building.
The Benefits of Mindfulness and Performance
Mindfulness which is simply paying attention to body and breath sensations without judgment, allows the athlete to better control how they process everything happening within them and regulate emotions such as anxiety and fear.
How does mindfulness benefit an athlete?
As an athlete or performer of any type, the ability to regulate and control thoughts of pain and emotions can give a competitive edge and improve performance outcome. For example, in the heat of the moment if an athlete can recognize unproductive thoughts and eliminate the emotional charge around the thought through mindfulness the athlete will be in a better position to remain calm and focused enhancing overall performance.
- Identify & Accept: knowing in the moment what is happening for the athlete without judgment. Such as knowing that the negative self-dialogue is happening and acknowledging this to oneself diffuses the in-your-head argument.
- Awareness: taking a moment to breathe and re-center.
- Action: taking a specific action that is practiced in training to switch thoughts from negative to neutral to serving.
If you are interested in learning more for yourself, your young athlete, or your team please contact me.