Human performance is a fascinating interdependence of mind and body. In sports performance, both team and individual, the “mental” aspect is a key player. A significant amount of focused alertness, combined with grace and ease, is a consistent combination we see from great performers.
This refinement is rarely taught by coaches. This is due to a lack of understanding that calm-alert is indeed a necessary and teachable trait. Few coaches have this experience themselves so they don’t know to teach it. It is called coherence and while scarcely known, it’s the explanation of the state of mediation. The state of mediation is synonymous with “the zone”, a state of consciousness often reported by athletes. The trick is to educate the athlete that it is possible to be in”the zone” at all times. A benefit that athletes have in common is that, while fleeting, they can often remember witnessing being in “the zone” in their own experience of playing their sport. The fascinating truth is that “the zone” is everyone’s most primary state. We simply have learned habits that cloud our moment-to-moment experience of it.
The key word here is play. “The zone” occurs when we are at play. When we are unattached to an outcome and simply thoroughly immersed and fully present in the game, this is “the zone”. Similarly, enjoyment of life occurs when we are at play as well, without analysis and second-guessing ourselves. Analysis and second guessing do not accompany “the zone”.
Above, I put the word “mental” in parentheses. The reason I did this is because “the zone” stands alone from thought. The word mental implies the inclusion of thought and thought does not actually exist in “the zone”. We are not our thoughts. We are “the zone” and learned habit. Unnecessary habits can be overcome through a constant, conscientious application of calm and alert to life.
As mentioned, athletes are lucky. Many of us have at least witnessed “the zone” which means it exists within our perspective. This is an advantage. It’s not just a concept or an idea, we’ve actually been there. (Here, actually) Sportos also have the benefit of having learned that the enjoyment of sport is in direct proportion with the amount we practice. It’s important to understand that the habit of practice accompanies meditation too. It’s not about what you know it’s what you practice.
If you want to excel at sport and life, anchor your moment-to-moment experience of calm-alert through practicing meditation. So anchoring our ability to live in “the zone” is indeed possible. You will need to adopt a specific medication practice and persevere until it is your experience that you are not your thoughts and hat is simple, not exactly easy, but simple. Just practice meditation like any other sport and you’ll see that the level of priority you give it will dictate your success.just like your sport.