Meditation for Sports Performance

Improving one’s sports performance is not only about the physical aspects of practice and exercise. In many cases, it is also about the mental aspects of performing in a sport and keeping up with the competition. Meditation for sports performance is a powerful tool that helps strengthen the mind, improve overall health and offer visualization that ultimately impacts the overall performance.

What is Meditation?

Before it is possible to understand how meditation impacts sports, it is necessary to understand the basics of what it is and how it works.

Meditation is a term used to describe the practice of changing the mind. According to The Buddhist Centre, meditation techniques help improve concentration and clear the mind so that it is possible to make changes. In sports, a high level of concentration is a powerful tool to improve endurance and work on areas where one is still struggling.

Benefits of Meditation on Health

According to Web MD, meditation is useful when it comes to balancing the inner workings of the body. It has a profound impact on several systems and it causes positive changes that improve overall health by reducing stress levels.

Athletes need to take measures to maintain a healthy body and avoid illness. Physical activity can harm the immune system, especially if it takes place in cold and rainy weather conditions or at any time when the weather is shifting.

Meditation helps boost the immune system, which makes it less likely that an athlete will get sick. By balancing the impact of exercise with meditation techniques, the rate of fatigue and complications associated with the weather are reduced.

Adding in Visualization

Meditation can take many different forms and it is not always about clearing the mind or getting rid of thoughts. It can also mean focusing the mind on a particular thought or group of thoughts so that other concerns fall away.

In the case of using meditation to improve sports performance, the goal of the practice is actually visualization. Focusing the mind on the sports activity and the physical accomplishment can help improve the way that the body reacts when it is time to actually perform the activity.

According to Sports Psychology Today, the performance of an athlete on the field or court is actually the result of what the individual thinks in his or her head. When the mind does not visualize a positive result or a positive change, then the body will not have the same performance as it has when the mind focuses on winning or gaining that positive result.

Visualization is about the power of focusing on the goal and reaching for it one step at a time. By visualizing a better run time, making a goal from a farther distance or outsmarting that goalkeeper, it is easier to actually accomplish the task. The mind remembers the patterns that are visualized so that the body can put the idea into practice on the field or court.

Visualizing personal performance is a type of meditation that focuses on results. It gives athletes the tools to teach the body what it needs to do on the field in the future. When visualization is combined with physical practice, personal performance improves over time.

Meditation can seem complicated at the beginning, particularly when it relates to sports performance and athletics. Fortunately, it is not as hard as it might sound.  The focus of meditation is actually making a positive change in thinking patterns and improving health making peak performance possible.

Sources:

 (1) http://thebuddhistcentre.com/text/what-meditation,

(2) http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/transcendental-meditation

(3)http://www.sportpsychologytoday.com/sport-psychology-for-coaches/the-power-of-visualization