As an athlete, you’re constantly looking for your edge. You refine your movement, dial in your nutrition and condition your body. But since 90% of performance in sports is mental, what are you doing to condition your mind?
It’s All In Your Head
Mindfulness is a mental state. It’s being aware of the present moment. It’s both acknowledging (and accepting) your thoughts, feelings and sensations. It’s a technique that, when practiced, is your best tool in the box. When you train your brain to be mindful, your stress levels will drop and your performance is elevated.
A lot of stress goes into competing as an athlete. Your adrenaline skyrockets at the start line, the crowd adds pressure, and thoughts about failed lifts, missed goals and previous times that weren’t fast enough flood your brain. When you get caught up in thoughts from the past, your brain throws up a block with a stress response. That block takes up the part of the brain that you need to focus, buckle down and stay engaged in those crucial moments. When you are too stressed about performing well, you don’t keep yourself composed and you can’t access the power to properly make rational decisions.
What You Think, You Become
Higher performance comes from controlled emotions and positive self-talk. Practicing mindfulness trains our brains to perform at our best by coaching the part of our brain that creates a calm state of mind.
Here are a few apps to make it easy for you to get started, anytime, anywhere. Try building them into your practice and watch your performance dramatically improve.
Stop, Breathe & Think
This app is a great intro that will ease you into your practice. Aside from timers and guided meditations, you’ll find tutorials and activities to set you up for easy, mindful habits.
This app offers easy courses via 10 minute daily sessions that helps to build healthy habits and keeps you on track with a personalized progress page.
This app is simple. Everyday, you get a new, personalized, three minute meditation. The set up is personalized to your lifestyle and mood. This app is quick and does a great job of targeting stress and anxiety.
It’s as easy as it sounds. Calm is great for beginners, chills you out and offers both guided and unguided meditations.