One of the subjects that I have wanted to cover more in-depth on the Endurance QuickCast for a while is meditation. I know some of you are going to pass on this show but when I am asked how do I take my performance to the next level this is one of many things I talk about with athletes that are seeking the next level of performance.
I have recently covered such esoteric concerns as Developing Flow State for Extreme Gains in Athletic Performance, Improve your performance today with Self Talk and Hacking the mind to take the win. So today I am going to cover mediation and how it can benefit you the endurance athlete.
Note: Before you get out pencil and paper for the show I want to let everyone know that this show will have extensive show notes. To find the show notes simply go to PositivePerformanceCoaching.com/blog/ or search for the show title on our website.
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What is meditation? “Meditation can be defined as a practice where an individual focuses his or her mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state.”
What types of meditation should athletes consider?
Guided meditation or self-guided meditation?
Breathe meditation or mindfulness meditation?
Isn’t all this meditation stuff just rebranded Transcendental Meditation?
“The Transcendental Meditation technique is a specific form of silent mantra meditation developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s and still practiced all over the world.”
What will an athlete likely focus on when selecting a meditation practice?
Relaxation, Visualization, Performance Anxiety, pain management, recovery, wellness,
The scientifically proven benefits of meditation and how it may benefit athletes
“Transcendental Meditation technique produces both short-term and long-term improvement of sensory-motor performance. One possible explanation for this effect is that the Transcendental Meditation technique reduces anxiety in subjects, thereby improving mind-body coordination. Another possibility is that the Transcendental Meditation technique improves concentration, which would also lead to enhanced sensory-motor performance” Research Paper – Andrew G P Rimol, Dept. of Psychology Princeton University 1974. THE TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION TECHNIQUE AND ITS EFFECTS ON SENSORY-MOTOR PERFORMANCE
- Meditation reduces stress
- Meditation increases your sense of well-being
- Meditation increases your sense of connectedness and empathy
- Meditation improves focus
- Meditation improves relationships
- Meditation makes you more creative
- Meditation improves memory
- Meditation improves your ability to make decisions
- Meditation helps people overcome addictions
- Meditation improves cardiovascular health
- Meditation enhances your immune system
- Meditation helps you find “flow”
- Meditation reduces physical and emotional pain (better than morphine)
- Meditation takes you towards enlightenment
How long before you see benefits?
How to get started
Your Meditation Setting
Your Meditation Posture
Your Meditation Aides
Meditation as a Sports Psychology foundation
I like to think of meditation as the foundation to all Spots Psychology practices.
PST vs MAC
PST = Psychological skills training
Typical PST modalities are goal setting, imagery, mental rehearsal, arousal control, self-talk, and pre-competitive routines
MAC = Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive therapy and Acceptance Commitment Therapy
Or simply put MAC is mindfulness as a form of present-moment attention and focuses on the need to become more aware of cognitive anxiety and better understand that it is a natural response to performance circumstances.
Where the typical PST approach breaks out the areas of what athletes can focus on in an effort to gain clarity and focus, MAC tries to remove expectations of potential outcomes and puts the athlete into the hear and now to develop an acceptable view of performance outcomes.
Both Sport Psychology practices are relevant methods for improving the mental game and delivering an edge over one’s competition come race day. In both cases, I still feel that meditation will become the foundation of either practice.
Other articles that I have written on the subject
Other supporting books, articles, and studies