Most of our daily life is spent in our heads, focused on what we’re thinking rather than on what we’re feeling. Thus there are reasons every athlete should meditate. The High levels of competition in sports today can cause stress and that can decrease the ability to maintain focus and concentration resulting in poor performance. Hence one should consider practicing meditation for best performance.
It is important for optimal performance to reduce stress. By regularly practicing meditation, the body learns how to relax in stressful situations, which helps in building self-confidence and achieving a positive mindset.
Meditation boosts the immune system, preventing illness that can interfere with your training or performance. Meditation helps in improving the quality and length of sleep and also the immune system of the human body.
A Sportsperson who visualizes victory, combined with the regular practice of breathing exercises trains the body to work harder for a longer period of time in training and high level competitions. Visualizing a positive outcome and what one wants from the game or match can help increase confidence and perspective before one begins to play.
Meditation teaches an individual to enhance awareness of each muscle, helping to pinpoint an injury and prevent further damage. Meditation in sports can greatly enhance the mind-body connection, allowing one to discover optimal zone of performance. Mentally training physical muscles is possible in meditation especially when the body is physically tired to workout.
Working out in the mind can actually produce tangible results due to positive thinking. “What you think you will become,” is a saying that explains the impact of thinking positively. Improved performance can also be accomplished through the rest that is provided by meditation. The most common form of meditation is called transcendental meditation.
It involves simply sitting quietly with your eyes closed and a clear mind for about 20 minutes trying to focus and reduce stress but one may find it difficult to clear the mind initially. Hence, one can practice for shorter periods of time at first and then gradually increase the time. With this practice it becomes easier to clear the mind and focus for longer periods of time.
Mantra meditations is done by selecting a quote, phrase or word that inspires you and then repeating it in the head without moving the lips and when the mind wanders, repeating the mantra again for the duration of the meditation. During a big game if you are nervous simply focus on your breath rather than your nerves, that can help you prepare for better performance.
To conclude, Meditation helps you focus, cope with pain, deal with fear, strengthens your immune system, reduces the mind from ruminating, makes you resilient, reduces stress, stabilizes emotions, and helps with sound sleep.
To get in a calm state and perform with focus to your optimum level meditate regularly. “Physical fitness and meditation must go together. It is like having two legs. One needs two legs to reach their destination.”