A little meditation and mindfulness can give you that extra edge in the heat of competition
Working with Multisport.ph editor Eric Nicole Salta brings me back to my university days when I would more often than not pass on all sports assignments because I just did not understand athletes.
In my early 20s, I spent a year doing yoga therapy on CrossFit athletes and triathletes, constantly coaching them on the hazards of being too competitive. A lot of the torn shoulders, broken knee caps, and lower backache cases I was rehabilitating didn’t come from accidents, it came from an obsession with outdoing competitors and wearing injuries like a war badge. But is an ego rub really worth losing your mobility for?
I could tell they did not take my advice seriously. “You don’t understand, you’re not an athlete,” they would tell me. Which is why years later, when I saw former triathlete Sara Black get into meditation, I knew I had the opportunity to finally tap into a voice that these elites can’t just only resonate with but also respect.
“Being an athlete, I enjoyed endurance sport. It gave me the pathway to understand that my body is limitless but through meditation and yoga, I learned this in a less aggressive, more graceful manner,” she says.
Not known to many athletes is that even basketball players like Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Stephen Curry all meditate. The practice of mindfulness is not unlike training for sports. Both require you to be “in the zone,” except in meditation, you let go of your need to achieve and prove yourself.
Because it involves breath work, this process of silencing the chatter in the mind helps bring in more oxygen in the bloodstream, which then stimulates cell regeneration. Breathing has a sedative effect to the brain, making humans immediately feel calmer and more at ease and relaxed.
Meditation is accessible to anyone, anywhere. A few minutes of stillness is proven to relax muscles. Done pre-game, meditation brings better focus. Athletes who want to hyper focus need to learn how to tune out external noise, something that they experience in meditation.
In this video, Black, now a meditation coach, demonstrates to former journalist, politician, businessman, and endurance athlete Gilbert Remulla the power of meditation.
Note: There are many ways to meditate. Some do quiet contemplation and reflection, some make use of mantras, some with movement. What we’re showing is just one of the methods that also happen to be one of the most accessible to beginners.