You spend so much time training your body: you put in the hard hours, make the sacrifices, take the pain. This requires single-mindedness, dedication - it take determination and discipline. And, when you are competing, you will push your body hard, go beyond the pain: you will hold your goal in mind, go after what you know is attainable without letting any obstacle stop you. Single-mindedness, again, dedication, discipline.
And as single-mindedness, dedication, determination and discipline are all attributes of mind, success comes as much from from the mind as from the body.
So, there it is, the partnership - the body and mind. In fact, the two are so closely linked that ‘partnership’ is the wrong word — it is a little like saying your left leg is in partnership with your right: they are not, the simply work together. And, just as you would not dream of anything as absurd as training your right leg and not your left, you should not train your body without training your mind.
We talked of single-mindedness, dedication, determination and discipline - but we can go on: the winning attitude, the indefatigable strength in adversity, the sheer determination to prevail - all aspects of the strong, the focussed mind.
To perform as well as you are able, these aspects of the mind should not be left to chance - any more than the next PB should be left to chance: training is essential to both. And just as physical training will enhance performance, so too will mind training.
Like any type of training, mind training must be both specific and focussed. The practice of meditation is one of concentration, and the immediate benefit to the sportsperson is obvious - an increase in concentration will enable them to keep their eye unwaveringly on the main game, achievement of the goal.
But is goes beyond this. Concentration in meditation leads to a state of calmness and tranquility, and in this state of calmness and tranquility it is possible to become acutely aware of emotions as they arise. A heightened awareness of emotions as they arise is extremely important for you as a sportsperson, particularly in competition.
Anxiety, fear, doubt - these are all natural emotions, and they will arise in everyone. They are natural, and are not a problem - but if they are allowed to grow, particularly in a competitive situation, they will interfere: they will become another barrier to overcome. An unnecessary barrier.
This is where the meditation experience comes in - you will recognise doubt, say, as it arises. The little germ of doubt, you will see it, recognise it; and with your training, rather than allow it to grow, you will allow it to subside, never to become an issue.
The App provides a comprehensive course of mind training, to increase your concentration, with all the benefits that brings.
Unlike most of your training, you will find meditation is calming and relaxing during the meditation period: this is simply a natural consequence of mind training. This is great for relaxing after training, and for calming the nerves and gathering focus prior to competition.
But in fact this relaxation is key. It is key in keeping the eye on the main game, unwaveringly, attainment of that goal. And it is key in the awareness of rising emotions.
Mind training through meditation is not complicated, but it is not easy. It requires dedication and perseverance - but, hey…!
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Anamaya is a comprehensive meditation course and self-development resource.