The Effects of Mindfulness on Sports Performance

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Athletes from all walks of sports are known to be the strongest people on the planet. This strength is not just limited to physical strength because you will also find them strong emotionally to be on top of their game and display amazing sports performance. Their emotional strength is the reason people highlight them when they get emotional over the sports they play.

Most people think that this strength mainly comes from experience and as they have experienced a lot of things in life, they rarely get emotional. However, experts explain that in every sport athletes have to go through lengthy workouts that help them stay active and vigilant no matter what the issue might be. Some of the main exercises that they have to perform are linked with meditation and mind-based exercises.

quote james allen mind body

Although there is no hard evidence that athletes are emotionally so much stronger than the rest of us, it is safe to say that you will not see them flinch or back off when the conditions are dire and they just need to defend someone. They will always be ready for physical workouts and since your physical strength is all about your mental preparedness, both physical and mental strength goes hand in hand.

To be an athlete you need to know how and when to stabilize your emotions and how to let go of the anger otherwise you will see the effect on your sports performance as well. Most people think that it has more to do with mental strength and strategy planning. However, experts say that mental strength is just another step towards mindfulness and you will only achieve mindfulness if you keep working towards better mental strength.

With the help of this article, we will explore in detail about mindfulness. We will also see how self-actualization is different from mindfulness and the ways you can achieve mindfulness. Finally, we will also look at how we can see if we have mindfulness and if it is good enough to impact our sports performance.

What Is Mindfulness?

sports performance mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of the human body where the brain is not only aware of things around it but also what is in it. We mostly see people talking about what they see, observe or feel but most people forget what they feel or how much they feel. With the help of mindfulness, a person can discover how he feels about certain things and how much he is feeling about them. This contains the awareness of one’s thoughts along with his feelings, sensations that affect his body along with the environment and its surroundings as well as whatever is going on in the body.

We see that most people when they get hit by an opponent are unable to feel pain whereas, others can easily detect and avoid the hit. There are a few people who can predict how the movement of their body or people around them will be affecting the game. This is what mindfulness can do to you. It can offer you an outlet to look into yourself and have full control of your body that is not just limited to the body movement but also helps you read the simple body cues like how much you should move or how little it might take for you to show progress.

How It Helps In Boosting Your Athletic Performance?

sports performance mindfulness

To step into mindfulness you cannot just think about one thing or how your body moves, you also need to accept people and the changes around you. This is the reason unless you do not accept different things and know what you are doing, you will never be able to accept, forget, and let go which are the three most important steps of achieving mindfulness.

Once you achieve mindfulness you will see the world around you change because of how impactful it is. This is especially important for people who are involved in sports or games because mindfulness allows them to stay aware of the changes in their bodies at all degrees.

Mindfulness also helps them become emotionally strong so they can stay ready for every possible change in the game and take a head-on approach rather than giving up so easily. It also helps them in handling depression along with reducing stress and anxiety so you do not feel anxious all the time when you are about to perform. This control over nerves plays a very significant role in day-to-day life as well. Mindfulness also helps in cognitive ability improvement along with improving physical health and improving memory.

Overall it can help you get aware of what’s happening around you as well as what’s happening inside you so you can try to improve your performance by helping your inner emotions meet the requirements of your environment without straining your body or mind. These small steps can help you and you will eventually see its impact in real life as well. Due to improvement in mindfulness, most athletes are emotionally as well as psychologically stronger than normal people.

Bottom Line

sports performance mindfulness

To sum it all up, there are so many different exercises, especially yoga and meditation, that will help you achieve mindfulness. The best thing about mindfulness is that you will be able to predict things and read your opponent which means it will work as a superpower that will help you work so much better and you will be able to achieve so much in very little time. Most people use mindfulness in combat-based sports so they can read the body language and predict the reaction that they might get from the opponent.

However, mindfulness is not just limited to combat sports but to other sports as well. With the help of mindfulness, you will also be able to stay positive and pull through no matter how hard or challenging your practice session is. It will also help you stay motivated throughout your low progress time so you can push yourself more for better progress and an easier workout without straining yourself too much.

University of Alicante: The effects of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) training on mindfulness

National Library of Medicine: Mindfulness Mechanisms in Sports

National Library of Medicine: Mindfulness Training Enhances Endurance Performance and Executive Functions in AthletesSports Perfomance Bulletin: Mind over movement: using meditation for performance

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