Sometimes, as an athlete, you need a few moments to yourself to re-boot or adjust your mindset. We’ve all heard that age old saying, “where your energy goes that is what grows.”
True, it may have been relayed to us in a multitude of different ways, with different intents and words, but the underlying common thread is there. What you focus on is what your future will lean towards.
One way we can look at this is being able to manifest what we want by directing our thought pattern and confidence in that direction. This in itself is a meditative process.
How Meditation Helps Your Morale
Morale is a clear-cut version of this process. If your spirits are high then you will be more likely to create a positive outcome. If you are feeling depressed or have self doubt, the likelihood of failure is more imminent.
It goes without saying that the better you are at something, the more confident you will feel and the better you will therefore do. However, what about those days when you wake up on the wrong side of the dug out?
What about the moments when you're looking across the court at an opponent that you have lost to countless times or who has upped their game three-fold since you last played them? What about the day when that marathon you have been training for is upon you and you cannot look it in the face without a slight panic rising up inside you?
Athletes come face to face with these moments all the time, but there is a little something you can use to get yourself back on track (runners pun intended!).
"Game Face" Meditation Techniques for Athletes
Here are four short “Game Face” meditation techniques for all our athletes out there who are having “one of those days.” These only take a few moments and could make the difference between a confident pitch, or staying alert for a difficult pass.
You can use them while you’re training, during a game, before a swim meet, or to keep you rowing the boat.
1. Pause everything for a moment and just focus on one body part.
You can even close your eyes for this, to be still and feel your body's strength, its flexibility. Notice everything about it and know it through and through. Take that knowledge and apply it to the next few moments ahead of you. Be strong, malleable and intuitive.
2. Create a meditative mantra to repeat when self-doubt creeps in.
Something simple like “I’ve got this” works just as well as one handed down from your guru in Thailand. No one else needs to know what it is so don’t worry about it being goofy. Just repeat it 3-5 times when you need it.
3. Take five deep inhales and exhales through your nose.
This is the equivalent of 30 seconds and can be the break your body needs to reset your mind set. It will also carry enough oxygen to your brain to create that “Cool As a Cucumber” effect you need in order to put your game face on and think clearly about the play ahead of you.
4. Sit quietly and visualize the result you want.
If you have a little more time on your hands, you could sit quietly somewhere with no distractions and imagine how you want the game or race to play out ahead of you. This is great for more predictable sports like marathons or weight lifting.
So there you are. Test each one out and find the one that suits you- or come up with your own Game Face Meditation Technique and share it with us!