Mindfulness is a favourite topic of mine to cover solely because the majority of my first conversations about it with athletes revolve around demystifying what it really is. Educating athletes on the practical power of mindfulness is enjoyable to me because, initially, there are so many ‘lightbulb’, ‘aha’ moments…which are so satisfying to witness.
Athletes often come to me with a very specific idea of what mindfulness is… coloured with images of yogis, serene landscapes, incense… you name it.
But mindfulness isn’t all of the material things that surround it (like landscapes and incense), which are things you can’t control. It’s all about turning your attention inward.. to things you can control. This is really the most basic building block I work on with every athlete; learning to turn their attention inwards, to everything that influences the performance that they can control.
When we can establish a routine of mindfulness (turning our attention inwards) we turn our attention to a wealth of knowledge that actively helps us understand what we can do, what we can change, how we can behave… to improve our performance. This is the promised land for athletes.
Turning our attention inwards gives us the ability to see all of the most relevant information that we should consume and consider when it comes to judging our performance. Thus, we can establish a sustainable, reliable, and predictable way of helping ourselves move forward.