Performance Yoga – 10.27.14 (Be Your Own Champion)

Growing up in athletics, I spent countless hours working on physical skills.  Middle school saw me enjoy the regimen of football, basketball and tennis.  Basketball ended during my sophomore year of high school, but tennis continued.  I still dabble in USTA tennis from time to time and miss playing it regularly.  Ice hockey has taken up most of my free moments now.  All of this information about me was for this reason … I never trained my brain. 

Countless hours were devoted to perfecting the physical actions necessary to be successful in life.  I cannot remember a single time during my years and years of team and individual athletics that I allowed my workouts to permeate my brain.  Yoga introduced the physical stretches that I had been looking for, but also introduced me to the art of listening without judgment.  As the passage below states, there is very little to distinguish us physically from one another.

Let your mind be free.  Let your mind rest in affirmations.  You are worth the time!  You will gain energy!  Start doubting your doubt.  Have a great one!  Namaste.

Be Your Own Champion

The importance of the mental side of athletics was once brilliantly summed up by basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Your mind is what makes everything else work.”  Tennis great Novak Djokovic further explains: “Among the top 100 players, physically there is not much difference … It’s  a mental ability to handle the pressure, to play well at the right moments.”

Distance runner Paavo Nurmi, dubbed the “Flying Finn” and the winner of nine Olympic gold medals (including five at the 1924 Paris Olympics), declared, “Mind is everything.  Muscle – just pieces of rubber.  All that I am, I am because of my mind.”  The mental abilities of confidence, concentration, and composure are crucial for being a champion in everything you undertake, be it work or sports or both.

Understand that the difference between a pedestrian performance and a peak performance beings and ends with your state of mind.  Champions develop and maintain a complete body and mind approach to their performance – the perfect blend of mentality, athleticism and technique.

You CAN achieve your true potential.  Attitude is a decision, and it is also a learned behavior, requiring discipline and energy to sustain.  Olympic wrestling champion Jordan Burroughs says, “All I see is gold.”  It is his mantra.

Put on your own gold medal performance, whether you are going to the gym, running trails or stepping on the gridiron in a championship game.  Why settle for anything less?  Consider:

  • Don’t have the time?  You are worth the time!
  • Don’t have the energy?  You will gain energy!
  • Doubt yourself?  Start doubting your doubt!

Book – The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train and Thrive by Jim Afremow

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