From increased focus during your match to greater confidence in yourself to make that winning play, meditation is a great tool in improving the way you perform in sport!
When it comes to performing at your best, being in great shape and training hard is only half of the equation.
When the mental side of athletic performance is overlooked, athletes will fall short of their potential. For this reason, many elite athletes are prioritising meditation as part of their overall training plan.
There are many styles of meditation, but the aim is always the same.
When we meditate, we are cultivating our awareness of the present moment. In other words - we become more mindful.
Mindfulness allows us to override ego, judgement and self-doubt - and live our most authentic lives. Meditation enables athletes of all levels to improve their performance. Here’s why...
1. Increased Focus
Meditation has been shown to accelerate brain plasticity, and can directly improve our ability to learn from our training and apply this information in competition.
The fast formation of new neural pathways that support memory and concentration enables athletes to stay focused when it counts - and get the best possible results.
2. Less Stress
The physical impact of training and the mental pressure of competition are both forms of stress - and even though exercise is healthy, the effects of stress are definitely not.
Both physical and mental stress are associated with inflammation and illness - which we all want to avoid whether we’re an elite athlete or not!
Meditation combats emotional stress by bringing awareness back to our bodies to quiet the mind. Energy is then freed up for the body to recover more efficiently from the physical impact of training.
3. Better Sleep
Our bodies recover and repair while we sleep, which is why there are so many negative consequences of not getting enough.
From weight gain to increased anxiety and poor motor control, lack of sleep is bad for everyone - not just athletes.
Better sleep means faster recovery, less downtime and improved athletic performance. Meditation not only helps us get into a good sleeping pattern, but also helps us get a much higher quality sleep.
4. Confidence Boost
Negative thoughts of self-doubt and judgement fuel poor performance by taking our awareness away from the present moment.
This lack of mental presence leads to us making even more mistakes and continually worsen our performance. Not only does regular meditation literally change our brains by forming new neural pathways for focus, but it also helps our brains get better at regulating our emotions while breaking down the pathways that encode negative emotions.
Fewer negative thoughts leave us with a quieter mind, which makes it easier for us to locate and connect with our authentic selves.
Understanding of who we really are, without all the negative noise, helps us become more self-confident. Gaining genuine confidence in ourselves and our athletic abilities makes meditation a total game-changer.
5. Ability to Visualise
Pretty much all of us will have at least a few deeply ingrained negative beliefs about ourselves.
Meditation allows up to recognise that these beliefs are not actually truths about ourselves, and that we can shift our thoughts to create new beliefs that embrace our high potential and true abilities.
For athletes, this creates an optimal mental state for practicing visualisation techniques - which are proven to have incredible results on performance.
6. Strong Mind-Body Connection
Meditation strengthens the mind-body connection, which helps us get in-tune with our true capabilities.
When we become more aware of this connection, we’re able to reach new heights in our athletic performance.
Quiet your mind and bring your awareness into your body… of each individual limb, muscle, and joint. Not only does this awareness prevent injuries, but it can also help us get into our optimal performance zone.
7. Entering the ‘Flow State’
Have you ever felt like you were in ‘The Zone?’ You know… that incredibly rare state of relaxed, high performance - where you’re not even thinking about what you’re doing?
The Biohacking community call this “Flow State,” and recognises it as the most powerful state of being for all of us.
When we’re in this state, time disappears, and so does our ego. We forget ourselves and our problems, muscle memory takes over and we perform at our peak - physically and mentally.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could get there whenever we needed to? Well… mediation can get you there!
8. More Enjoyment, Satisfaction and Motivation
Have you ever noticed that it’s impossible to really enjoy something when your mind is somewhere else?
It’s no secret that athletes perform better when they are actually having fun. When we live in the present moment, we can easily connect to our feelings of joy, satisfaction and motivation.
When we feel satisfied and motivated, we’re more likely to follow our training plans, go the extra mile, and ultimately perform at our best.
Whether you’re an elite level athlete, or you’re in it for fun and fitness - meditation is a proven game-changer! What’s more, is that meditation can improve our performance in all aspects of life - from our personal relationships to our productivity levels at work.
Make meditation a regular part of your training plan - you’ll be amazed by the results!