If you’re an athlete, you’re probably sick of hearing about all the things you “must” do — You must take x, y, and z supplements; you must follow x, y, and z workout routines; etc, etc, etc… Usually, when someone is telling you as an athlete that you really should do something — unless they’re your coach — they’re trying to market a product to you. The difference here is, what I’m suggesting you should do is not only free; it’s proven to work. The scientific evidence for the benefits of meditation is piling up, and literally thousands of studies have been done up to this point. Whether you’re an athlete, a trainer, or a coach, you should take a good look at the list below and ask yourself if you really could not gain something from these benefits.
Back in 2010, TIME did a story on a study that confirmed a link between meditation and an improved ability to focus. When we think of sports that require extreme concentration, golf is probably the first that comes to mind, but we all realize that every sport requires extreme concentration. A wide receiver is going to catch a pass if he’s staring off into space any more than a batter is going to hit a home run if he’s too busy checking out the cute girls sitting in the left-field bleachers.
“You win some, you lose some.” It’s a famous expression we’ve all heard countless times in our life, and it’s true, especially if you’re an athlete. No matter what sport you play, no matter how good you are, or how good your teammates are, sometimes you’re going to lose, and when you lose, the best thing you can do is move on. You have to let the past be the past, and not dwell on it. However, that’s often easier said than done. Mindfulness meditation will give your mind the tools it needs to focus on the present moment rather than ruminate over past mistakes. In short, meditation makes you a more resilient person who can overcome setbacks quickly.
We all think that we’re self-aware because we are conscious beings, but are you really self-aware? Have you ever found yourself wondering why you keep making the same mistake(s) over and over again, or why you just can’t seem to get that edge you’re looking for? Perhaps it’s a self-awareness issue. Self-awareness is paramount for an athlete. A lack of self-awareness can lead to mistakes, injuries, and ultimately failure. Mindfulness meditation will help you see your true personality and ultimately understand yourself better than you may have ever realized was possible.
In addition to the three benefits above, here is a short list of other gains you could expect to see from meditating:
- Reduced stress
- Stronger immune system
- Higher tolerance for physical pain
- Better sleep
- Reduced fear and anxiety
- Stable mood and temperament
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.