THE CONCEPT: MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MENTAL FOCUS
In our first topic we looked at physical presence and how showing up in a confident pose can have a huge impact on the results you achieve.
During today’s topic we’ll tackle another aspect of presence: mindfulness.
Whereas physical presence addresses the condition of your body in any given moment, mindfulness looks at the condition of your mind in any given moment. Specifically, mindfulness works at getting your mind to a calm, focused, attentive state.
Next Play athletes frequently report that they have a hard time juggling competing priorities, or that they need to work on time management, or that they struggle to find the right balance between their work (or their sport) and the rest of their life. They sometimes also report that they struggle with strong emotions such as stress, anger, or anxiety. This is when it’s most helpful to embrace the concept of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the active practice of bringing your mind back to center. To use a car metaphor: it’s finding your mental neutral.
If you stop for a moment and ask yourself, where did my mind wander in the past 5 minutes, you might find you’ve been to a bevy of interesting (but not always useful) places. Maybe your metaphorical car has been in 6th gear, hauling at 100 miles-per-hour down a mental highway, or on the converse, maybe you’ve been stuck in ‘Park’ and haven’t even realized it.
Mindfulness can teach you to notice when your mind wanders, and actively bring it back to a place where you’re fully engaged with what’s right in front of you.
Can you think of a time when you were fully mindful? How about a time you were playing your sport, and you were really in the zone? Were you thinking about anything else? Or were you full focused on that particular moment?
This is mindfulness. And it has huge value in your whole life outside of your sport.
Click on the image below to download this topic’s worksheet. It will help you practice staying mentally present and in the moment.