Is your Head in the Game?

27 Jun

I think we’ve concluded that my head was not in the game on Saturday. 

As I was flipping through the July edition of Men’s Journal, one of D’s many fitness magazines, I noticed on page 6 – a guy flipping a tire.  Of course, I was intrigued because that’s what we do in CrossFit.  I turned to page 48 and read the article, “How the World’s Best Athletes Train.”

The most interesting section of the article for me is “Mental Conditioning.”  Now that I have calmed down and the emotional rage has subsided, I can think rationally about my performance at the Gauntlet.  I definitely do not think my head was the in the game and I know I could have done better, but I did it.  I stepped outside my comfort zone and put myself out there.

Truth be told, I have never been an athlete until now.  Surprising, huh?  CrossFit and my coaches are helping me become an athlete.  In high school, I never participated in organized sports.  Heck, I was the kid in high school that got side cramps after the second lap around the gym.

Back to the article, “How the World’s Best Athletes Train,” written by Kevin Gray in the July 2012 edition of Men’s Journal.  I would like to highlight some points made under “Mental Conditioning.”

From triathlete, Mark Fretta, “The trick is not to react negatively, but to be in that moment and not think, ‘I have miles to go.’”

“Olympic athletes practice visualization:  They keep journals on how they feel during good and bad matches, they meditate, and they use muscle relaxation to stay in tune with their bodies’ physical changes.  The even practice anger, if it motivates them.”

Sean McCann, a senior sports psychologist at the U.S. Olympic Training Center teaches relaxation, “which seems counterintuitive to athletes who think they need to be energized to compete.  But being pumped up and tense depletes energy, while relaxation can provide control.”

“…anyone who has ever competed knows there’s as much heart and head in the game as there is brawn and skill.”  McCann says, “An athlete who spends 30 seconds in the wrong kind of thinking is going to make a mistake.  Mindfulness, or understanding what you’re thinking, can help you stop and recover from a mistake.” 

I don’t know about you, but this is good stuff!  We have all heard “the mind is a powerful thing,” and that it is!

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2 Responses to “Is your Head in the Game?”

  1. Margaret McGuire June 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    You can now give your prospective from an athlectic point of view. You are such an inspiration.

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