This is one aspect of performance most tend to put in the ‘too hard’ basket, but it is the key to improving your performance in anything you do in life. The two skills you can practice if you perfect it is creative visualization and focus. Top performers practice it for any mode of physical performance – from top sportspeople to musicians and anyone else who desires to reach another level of performance.
It is not enough to have the intention to improve but you MUST have the will to do it. You must persist if you desire to reach another level and we find this situation uncomfortable because we don’t like change. This will be a change in our level of thinking so there will be a degree of internal resistance to it. You will find a number of excuses not to work on your ‘mental game’ but if you make this effort, you will NEVER regret it!
Specific Meditation for Physical Performance
This specific form of meditation takes you from your mind and into your body. So thinking is not the key, but being, or existing within your body is. Most people will say that they exist within their body all the time anyway but most people’s minds are living in the past or future – so they are not present within their body? This is a technique that teaches you to ‘live in the moment’ because this is the only place where your ultimate performances are.
This meditation only need take 10 minutes, but up to 20 minutes is fine. You can learn to do it within a few seconds if you practice it enough.
Start but sitting comfortably in a comparatively quiet area if you can find it. Close your eyes and concentrate on observing the breath going into and out of your nose. If your mind wonders, don’t worry about it, just keep on bringing your mind back to your breath. After you feel that you have mastered this,(and don’t concern yourself if it takes a few times) you can expand your observation to other parts of your body. Observe any tension you feel and concentrate on relaxing these areas.
As I said, this might take several attempts just to get your focus on your breath and to live within your body. Practice makes perfect and everyone will improve their focus at different rates. Don’t expect anything to happen as this will get you frustrated and this is when most people who have tried meditation, will give up.
Once you have gained control of your mind in this way and put your focus on the present you can start to practice the visualization part of the skill and visualize a skill you want to perfect in whatever physical realm you are working on. But don’t use just visual images but also use your other senses to get a more powerful subconscious reaction to it. Even if you cannot physically practice this skill for any reason you will improve your performance of that skill when you get the chance to perform it (this has been scientifically proven many times.)
If you think that you don’t have a great imagination to practice this skill just remember that we all use this skill all the time!
Next fitness blog I want to go through another basic skill.