The main goal of successful athletes is to increase the likelihood of achieving peak performance through physical training and mental preparation. What follows are some researched-based factors linked to the achievement of peak performance:
- High energy (challenge, inspiration, determination, intensity)
- Fun and enjoyment
- Low anxiety
- Positive outlook
- Mental calmness
- Intense focus
- Being in control
Athletes are able to take very specific steps to attain the elements mentioned above. A general consensus among researchers in the field of sports psychology is that athletes are more likely to experience peak performance when they deal more readily with mistakes, demonstrate greater ability to effectively cope with anxiety, possess higher levels of confidence, use positive self-talk, and make good use of mental imagery. So, what can you do to directly enhance these capacities in yourself? The answer: practice mindfulness.
The consistent practice of mindfulness actually changes brain structure in those areas responsible for regulating focus, reducing anxiety, strengthening emotional coping skills, improving problem solving capacities and effectively using your sensory system for enhanced performance. In my next blog, I’ll begin to outline how you can set up a mindfulness practice for yourself.