Home / The Everyday Fighter / 4 REASONS EVERY ATHLETE...
As athletes, we train harder than most people will ever realize. We train our BODY and we train the CRAFT of our sport, but far too often athletes don't prioritize training the MIND. When times get tough, being mentally prepared can give us that extra edge over the competition. A person can only truly train 3 things, yet it’s only been within the past decade that elite athletes have begun to take mental preparation seriously. Over the next 10 years, we will see an emphasis on self-awareness, mental preparation, meditation and visualization in sports that we have never seen before, guaranteed!
Growing up as an elite hockey player, I remember laughing when one of my best coaches told me that I needed to begin a mental preparation routine before games. If I would have listened, I probably would have been able to boast better numbers, but I didn’t. Later on, another coach offered me a CD to listen to, morning and night. He told me it would help me stay calm and look forward with better positivity for the games to come. Little did I know, I had begun meditating, practicing positive affirmations and visualizing key scenarios before I even knew what it all meant. Shortly after, my enraged outbursts and mental breakdowns slowed…then later came to a complete halt. My sport became fun again, and the worry of the scouts in the stands, people’s opinions or any doubt I may have had all slowly faded.
It doesn’t matter what sport you play or at what level, ANY athlete can benefit from taking 20 minutes to meditate every day, and 20 minutes a few hours pre-game to visualize and reinforce positive self-talk. Although sports psychology has been around for some time, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the many mental health benefits and the depth of self-awareness an athlete can gather from daily meditation. Here are some examples:
How are you incorporating mindfulness into your game day routine? Look up some affirmations for your sport, visualization techniques, and meditation techniques for athletes…you will be pleasantly surprised!
Denon Maximchuk is a Personal Fitness Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Performance Exercise Specialist living in Vancouver, Canada. Starting as a pro hockey player and now a high-performance trainer and sports nutrition specialist, Denon has spent years learning from coaches and mentors the powerful benefits of committing time toward not only the physical game but the mental game. From the juniors to the pros, ALL of Denon's clients that work in high-stress situations have experienced the benefits of working with sports physiologists and mental coaches to calm the mind. Because of his passion for bio-hacking the body and mind, Denon's goal is to preach positive body image and mental health through self-awareness, as well as the importance of personal happiness in one's life. To learn more about Denon, check him out at @denonmaximchuk.
All photography courtesy of Alexander James Sutton. Alex is a photographer also based in Vancouver. He discovered his passion for photography at age 17, spending hours hiking through the wilderness, shooting landscapes and the lush West Coast terrain. He found that he not only had an eye for the shot, but that photography acted as a means of relaxation and oneness with himself. With school, work, and stresses of life, Alex realized the similarities between the calming sensation of photography, practicing meditation and breathing techniques. He now shoots more product and people focused shots, but still finds time to treat himself to the wonders of nature as often as possible. Check out more of his beautiful work at @thinkcreateexplore.