As a professional athlete, you have a responsibility to yourself and your sport to maintain peak performance. You can’t afford to let distractions or mental fatigue keep you from playing at your very best every time you step onto the court or tee box. That’s why I practice mindfulness techniques in my sport. By harnessing the power of being centered in the moment, I’m able to focus more on my game and less on other things that might get in my way—like fatigue from travel, injury rehab or just plain bad weather!
The power of mindfulness can help you improve your game.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. It’s a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations. When we practice mindfulness, we train ourselves to focus on the here and now rather than getting caught up in worries about the past or plans for the future.
The power of mindfulness can help you improve your game by harnessing mental focus for peak performance. Mindful athletes are better able to stay calm under pressure by recognizing their emotions as they arise; they are also more likely to make good decisions because they have greater access to all parts of their brains–not just those related to movement or skill execution (as happens when you’re stressed).
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present.
- What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance. You see them as just that–your thoughts and feelings–rather than letting them define who you are. With practice, this simple idea can be surprisingly powerful: it has been shown to reduce anxiety; lower blood pressure; improve sleep quality; boost energy levels; improve concentration; and even make us physically stronger!
In tennis and golf, mindfulness means being centered in the moment.
Mindfulness is a state of being present in the moment. It means noticing what you are doing and experiencing, without judgment or criticism. This is especially important for athletes who must be hyper-focused on their sport to perform at their best.
In tennis and golf, mindfulness means being centered in the moment. You shouldn’t think about past mistakes or future goals–you should only focus on what’s happening right now: where your racket meets the ball; how hard you swing; which muscles are working hardest as they propel your body forward across court or course; whether or not you have enough spin on your shot so that it lands within reach of your opponent’s serve returner (or if they’ll need to move back behind baseline).
The key to practicing mindfulness is to practice frequently, often and continuously.
The key to practicing mindfulness is to practice frequently, often and continuously. This means that you should be mindful as much as possible throughout your day-to-day life–not just when you’re sitting down for 30 minutes at a time on a meditation cushion or yoga mat.
Practicing mindfulness does not have to be an intimidating experience; it can simply mean being aware of what you are doing in each moment and taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. The more often we do this simple act of being present with ourselves (and others), the easier it becomes over time until it becomes second nature!
There are many ways to practice mindfulness in tennis and golf. You can focus on your breathing, concentrate on the sensations in your body and mind, or simply observe what is happening around you without getting caught up in it. The key is to practice frequently, often and continuously. If you find yourself feeling anxious or stressed out during play, take a few deep breaths before returning to focus on the task at hand.