In sports, we are very good at training and strengthening our muscles with the goal of getting either stronger or faster. We have routines and trackers that help us measure our growth in these areas to help us determine how we can improve our physical fitness in order to improve our performance.
As much emphasis as we put on training the body, we need to realize there is something within us that needs training just as much if not more than our muscles. You might be asking, what would be more important to train than what you use to actually play the sport? The simple answer is our mind but most of us don’t realize we can train our mind just like we can train our body.
Group Of Children In Soccer Team Having Training With Coach
Training the Mind – Mental Fitness
I know I didn’t realize this when I was a teenager playing sports and maybe if I had trained my mind to work for me and not against me, I wouldn’t have gotten cut or at least I would have seen it as a gift and opportunity to get better and try out again next year.
When I was fifteen, I was the last kid cut on the basketball team and I was cut from the baseball team. Now when I was younger, I was playing one or two grade levels up in baseball, and I was playing club basketball. In baseball, I could fly around the bases, I was a pretty good hitter and I was really good at catching fly balls in the outfield. In basketball, I was the kid that the other team yelled “Shooter” “Shooter” because they knew if they left me open I was probably going to knock it down.
So what happened between 10 and 15 where I went from the kid with so much confidence to the kid that got cut and never really played competitive sports again? Well I let the Judge in my mind tell me “I didn’t belong” or “I wasn’t good enough” and instead of disregarding those thoughts, I believed them and those thoughts became my beliefs. The Judge in my mind filled me with negative emotions as I assessed myself, others and my circumstances and then came to the conclusion that I wasn’t good enough.
I allowed the Judge in my mind to win through his tactics of fear, self doubt, and insecurity. Was simply looking to survive in sports, and even in life as I was also bullied at 12 years old. I didn’t know that through mental fitness I could train my mind, like I was training my body. I didn’t realize I could engage my sage or call on the guide inside me to help me navigate life with positivity, curiosity, and inspiration.
Even though my judge told me I wasn’t good enough and limited my success, the judge can still motivate others to be successful but does it through negative emotions that leave many of us unfulfilled and unhappy whereas the sage inspires us from within using positive emotions and helps us discover both success and happiness.
The truth is we all have a Judge in our mind that seeks to do to everyone of us like my Judge did to me which is to sabotage our greatness, happiness and personal success. The judge is there to simply help us to survive and will do everything it can to simply help us stay alive. However, we weren’t meant to simply survive, we were meant to thrive whether it be in sports or more importantly in life.
3 Simple Mental Fitness Exercises
Here are 3 simple mental fitness exercises to start training your mind. Like your muscles and help you find success and happiness in sports and in life.
- Breathe- Deep breathes in and out of your nose help calm your nervous system to help you think clearly
- Play Present- Focus the touch of your fingers, wiggle your toes, actively listen to others while they are speaking can help you engage your sage and spark great ideas
- Be Curious- Regardless of how your day is going… Ask yourself “How will this work in my favor?” or “What is life trying to teach me to help me become who I am supposed to be?”
Keep in mind that when life feels overwhelming or stressed, it’s probably because the weight of the situation might be too heavy for our mental fitness level. Just like if I were to try to bench 300 pounds without going through proper training, I wouldn’t be able to lift it without the help of two other people. The more we train our mind through mental fitness the stronger our positive perspective becomes and helps us see more and more situations as gifts and opportunities.
In order to win in the game of life, we need to train our mind like we train our body. This requires us to strengthen our sage and weaken our judgment. When we learn to listen to the thoughts that inspire us and disregard the thoughts that sabotage us, we begin the process of becoming the best versions of ourselves which leads a life of fulfillment, happiness and success.
About the Author – Part 3 in a 3 Part Series
About the author, Jason Holzer – Growing up in Taos, Missouri, Jason was raised in a small town with a loving family that gave him every chance to succeed. His parents were supportive and provided everything this 17-year-old could ever want. That is until his life changed forever on May 8, 2003, when his dad unexpectedly passed away by suicide leaving him, his mother and two younger sisters behind.
Through hard work, dedication, and a strong faith in God, He is now a certified teacher, accomplished basketball and mental fitness coach. He is also a Post-Traumatic growth storyteller and the Co-Founder of 4D Athletes. Get the 4D Athletes Free Demo Course or get a Certified Thought Coach Program.
His book “Shattered by Suicide, Renewed by Resilience: How to Move Forward After Being Left Behind” is an Amazon Best Seller and is positively influencing thousands of readers every year.
Follow Jason on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram today.
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