A mind which is not under control is a mind which makes mistakes and mistakes can prevent you from winning. Stress decreases your ability to maintain concentration. Surely, when used correctly, stress can be a helpful tool; but when not, it can not only impact negatively your performance but also your life.
In spite of the differences in level or sport, elite, professional, or amateur athletes all face the similar challenges: depression, anxiety, stress, sleep difficulties, inability to maintain focus, confidence, life balance, etc… One of the key techniques to improve their thoughts and behaviors is meditation.
Stress reduction is necessary for optimal performance. Competing when under stress is proven to negatively impact athletes’ performance. A study showed that meditation results in reducing stress levels by decreasing the level of the stress hormone cortisol. Meditating increases the ability to keep calm under pressure and improves focus and concentration, too. Consistently meditating helps your body be able to relax in stressful situations, build self-confidence and ultimately achieve a more positive mindset.
- Improved Sleep Patterns and Speeding Recovery Time
Sleep is important to the health of all people, especially athletes. A study showed that athletes who can’t get enough sleep will have a lot of negative effects such as weight gain, increased anxiety/depression, mood disturbance, decreased motor control, and inability to maintain focus and concentration.
Athletes who regularly practice meditation can recover quicker from racing, training, and even injury. In addition, meditation increases the immune system, prevents illnesses which can hinder your training and performance. Therefore, meditation helps in improving the quality of sleep and the immune system.
This is one of the most important reasons to add meditation to athletes’ daily training routine. Practicing meditation which utilizes visualizations can enhance athletic endurance. Athletes who visualize accomplishing specific objectives or goals, in combination with the consistent practice of meditation can train the body to work harder and longer in training and competition.