Sports Mindfulness: How Does It Affect Athletes?

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Louise Hay

Sports Mindfulness: How Does It Affect Athletes?

Last update: October 26, 2017

For Pele, one of the most famous footballers in history, it was very clear. According to him "everything is training". And it makes sense to assume that the same is true of sports mindfulness. The more you train, the more the training will be useful to us. Is that so?

According to coach and sports psychologist Jonathan García-Allen, beyond the application of cognitive-behavioral therapy, which is very popular, most professionals have opted for mindfulness applied to sport. Why?

What is mindfulness and how does it apply to sport

Mindfulness is a technique that requires you to focus all your attention on what you are doing in the present moment, without judgment and with the least possible amount of filters.. Its purpose is to teach the mind methods to manage thoughts, emotions, reactions and attitudes in the face of situations that gradually arise. Therefore, it aims at perfecting full consciousness through positive attitudes, knowledge and freedom.

It seems evident that this method can be perfect for sports activities. After all, a workout, a game or match requires full concentration to achieve optimum performance.

Mindfulness transports us to what is known as the "State of Flow"Have you ever experienced that feeling of being so focused on an activity that you feel like you are floating in it? It is precisely what the athlete is looking for in the most important moments of his competitions. And it is a state that can be achieved through this technique.

"If you are not sure, you will always find a way not to win"

-Carl Lewis–

How sports mindfulness affects athletes

In light of the above, mindfulness turns out to be effective for all people. It is logical to think that sportsmen can also benefit from the benefits of this technique. How?

  • It is an effective technique for increase motivation of the sportsman. And, logically, motivation is vital to getting the best result.
  • It is a technique vital for the activation level of the individual. The more focused and active the athlete is, the more he will be able to complete the activity effectively.
  • Activate positive stress levels. In this situation, we shouldn't think of stress as a negative factor. It is evident that in the moment of competition, a right amount of stress is necessary. And here comes sports mindfulness, making it reach the optimal level, which increases the athlete's ability.
  • Increase levels of self-esteem and self-confidence. Clearly, it is essential for a sportsman to have full confidence in his possibilities when the time comes to compete.
  • It is very effective when it comes to interpreting successes and defeats. All athletes can end their career in the moment of maximum splendor or following continuous defeats. But with a sensible and balanced view, their judgment will come to a coherent and common sense conclusion.
  • It acts as an effective tool to strengthen the team spirit of sportspeople. In this case, mindfulness can create the optimal environment to benefit from the interpersonal relationships of individuals.

How Sports Mindfulness Can Help Manage Emotions

As we can see, sports mindfulness, if applied correctly, can be a very effective technique. It will bring out all the confidence of the athlete to make him reach the optimal performance. Thus the individual accepts his emotions and thoughts and manages them in a natural way, without the need to modify or eliminate them.

Why this technique aims at self-knowledge and at the state of emotional regulation that allows you to effectively manage emotions, not eliminate them. This brings us to the aforementioned “State of Flow”, the moment in which everything flows and seems to be in perfect harmony. That state in which the activities we carry out seem to cost us no effort.

It is crucial to achieve a state of effective acceptance in the present moment. Instead of trying to control everything and think too much, the individual gets carried away and merges with the present.. Which increases his concentration, removes his negative thoughts and allows him to have better results in sports.

And so we come to the conclusion that sports mindfulness can be a very effective technique for increasing performance. In a state of emotional balance in which everything flows, bringing out the best in us will be a challenge and a state to be able to enjoy.

"My strength lies in being more balanced and calm than most cyclists"

-Miguel Indurain-

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