What do Michael Jordan, the Richmond Tigers and Novac Djokovic have in common? They have all used mindfulness and meditation to help them with their sporting performance. Meditation and mindfulness isn’t just for those at the top of their game, it can be incredibly beneficial for anyone involved with sport, whether that be a team or individual sport. Mindfulness gives you the competitive edge! Here’s our top reasons that every athlete should practice mindfulness and meditation:
- It improves focus Your focus will determine if you win or lose a game. When you’re at the free throw line, and you’re not focused, you may miss the shot. Why not train your mind to focus? Meditation has been shown to increase states of focus within the brain. Every athlete, no matter what sport they are playing, could work on improving their focus.
- It makes you resilient To be a great athlete you need to be resilient. There is no smooth road to success and you can’t let failure stop you. Meditation helps you detach yourself from the negative thoughts that keep you from achieving your goals. This builds resilience and helps you keep striving for your dreams (sport or otherwise!).
- It helps you sleep better If you get a terrible night sleep before the game, chances are you won’t be your best. It’s easy to feel nervous and excited as you try and sleep. A quick meditation and some journaling will help you settle that racing mind so you can be fresh and ready to take on the competition in the morning. Sleep is as equally important for recovery too.
- It helps you tackle fear and anxiety Fears can hijack our minds from the present moment. We all know that feeling of thinking about a big event or something in the future and completely psyching ourselves out. This is not conducive to good sporting results. Meditation has been shown to help calm the fear centre of the brain known as the amygdala even when you’re not meditating.
- It improves mind-body connection Mindfulness helps with improved coordination and awareness of your body and mind! This allows you to react faster, improve your accuracy and ultimately perform better overall. Wins all round!