Empowering The Athlete In Motion
Thinking about the words health, sports and fitness creates images of exercise, athletics and motion. Along with those images, personal beliefs concerning ability, fear and competition impact physical performance. While some of these conditions cannot be changed, acquiring skills that emphasize the present moment and make use of natural patterns of motion can enhance capability.
Remarkable, professional, competitive, aggressive, frustrated, serious, recreational, middle-aged, uncoordinated and challenged — all are adjectives that depict different kinds of athletes. All of these athletes, however, on some level share the desire to be part of motion-based activity. It is desire, and the results of past emotional experiences, that motivate people to improve their outcomes.
Capability dependant upon skill, training and time, cannot be increased intuitively. Many people get frustrated after putting energy into improving their results, only to find that the outcome did not change. While skill acquisition can be acquired through practice alone, insightful coaching can make a big difference.
A movement-based model of instruction utilizing natural body mechanics (kinesiology) can decrease movement error and enhance execution. There are also certain pre-programmed brainstem reflexes that create facilitated patterns of motion. Training that integrates these methods can feel so good that the motion itself becomes a source of joy.
In order to reach peak performance, training may also be required to reduce the fear of movement, especially when associated with competition. That requires learning to stay in Now. The Ego, which thinks in past and future dimensions, gives meaning to the endless preoccupation with prior experiences and most probable outcomes. The Ego self would have no identity if it were not for the mind.
Acknowledging that man and his mind are not the same thing gives permission to redirect the senses to the present moment, the most precious portion of time. It disarms the Ego and frees the spirit to experience the esthetics of movement that occurs during performance. Capability is unleashed and better outcomes result.
There are several excellent references on kinesiology and living in the present moment. There are not as many resources that have successfully put these concepts into practice. Special thanks is given for leadership in this regard to The Vic Braden Tennis College and Jane Miner, PhD, both affiliated with the Green Valley Spa and Resort in St. George, Utah.
If you need a mantra, remember this: “If you don’t mind, it don’t matter”.
Health, Sports & Fitness: Empowering The Athlete In Motion
Links: Piedmont Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
i Sports Injuries Program Sheet (pdf file)