Meditation and Athletes. The mental edge.


Elite sports and Eastern philosophies converge at a fascinating point. The practice of meditation, leaving little doubt regarding the mental edge effect.

Those with a long-standing meditation practice know what it's all about and for those people that have never tried, the eye rolls clearly relay their thoughts. Yet, martial artists and Yogis have always known the power of meditation in their physical training and practices. It's just very difficult to communicate the depths of this to others.

As the physical and nutritional status of elite athletes achieve over-the-top levels, reducing individual variance between them in performance, the mental edge is the IT to be harnessed. This is why so many athletes are on the path to master that IT, and meditation is the key that unlocks that majestic castle door filled with hidden hallways and secrets into the human brain and mind. It is the ultimate basic tool in mastering the mind

It's not only athlete exclusive. Meditation is equally important for high performance individuals, people with high-stress jobs and lives. It basically benefits anyone and everyone. 
Furthermore, an effective advanced meditation practice lending the greatest lifetime effect, is somewhat different from a basic mindfulness practice. Neither can it be compared to visualization.

To throw a few names out there:

Lebron James
Kobe Bryant
Carli Lloyd
Barry Zito
Tiger Woods
Jason Woolley
Ben Simmons 

Stephen Curry says that meditation has trained his mind to consistently 'be in the moment', and help him think ahead and outsmart his opponents

Derek Jeter has meditated for an hour each day since 2012 and claims that it has not only made him a better athlete, but a better person.

Several NHL goaltenders have included yoga and meditation into their training schedules. Goaltender Keith Kinkaid (Columbus Blue Jackets) has a yoga practice but claims that the meditative aspect of it as most important, especially breathing technique and the ability to stay patient on shooters. He feels calmer and less chaotic.

Joe Namath a transcendental meditation practitioner has stated that meditation increased his all-field vision/perception, reaction time, endurance and speed recovery. Also leading to a deep restful state it was a vital key in restitution after games.

Seahawk coach, Pete Carrol, introduced meditation to the whole team and claims that it played a huge role in the process toward the 2014 Superbowl. 

As stated above; those that know, know. Progressive thinkers in their fields willing to do what it takes.

Meditation not only delves into the depths of calmness. From the perspective of the mind; it uncovers blocks, insecurities, releases judgements and the ego holding back the expression of true passion and one's true nature. It unleashes expansive thinking and potential. It focuses the mind, increases the perception of time lending patience and response time. It works on so many levels that it is almost impossible to relay the experience through the written word. Furthermore, it also delves into personal development, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and healthy habits.

Meditation is a change agent. It transforms and supports transitions
In our competitive world it gives a mental edge ahead of all those that don't meditate.

As we talked about in, Mental Toughness advantage, there is wiggle room in which to work and cultivate mental toughness. This is one of those practices that supports the 4 c's of commitment, control, challenge, and confidence.

Neuroscience research is also gradually uncovering the longterm effects of meditation on the brain. 

A few fun facts from research and brain scans:

- The amygdala shrinks with meditation over time affecting anxiety levels and increasing calmness and response time. The amygdala is our 'fight and flight' center. 

-The pre-frontal cortex thickens affecting awareness, concentration, and decision making.

- Neuroplasticity: The connection between the amygdala and the rest of the brain weakens also leading to greater attention and focus.

- People with an advanced meditation practice feel less pain, even though brain scans show more activity associated with pain.

Impressive, yes? Yes. 

Yet, meditation helps us through all of life's processes and phases. It is a comforting go-to, and brings us home to our essence and core. YOU and life, will never be the same.

When engaging a mental trainer/coach in learning a lifetime meditation practice and guidance through the process until it becomes habit, it is helpful if your trainer also has a medical background and personal development training. Why? Because it will give you a complete understanding of the larger picture, and the full-body work can be done with the same trainer based on underlying trust and confidence in the process.  

Questions or want to know more? Contact us at Solborg Behandling or send me a note at tamified

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun



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