Mindfulness in Sport: Improving Attention and Poise for Optimal Performance

As athletes or performers we are taught to focus our attention to “stay in the game.” However, when in the middle of a play, race, game, or routine, our mind may wander to other things: what happened in school that day, what we have coming up after practice, how we did in a prior performance, or what we have to do in an upcoming performance. Keeping our attention on what we’re doing while we’re doing it is much easier said than done!

Mindfulness is a practice of present-focused attention of a non-judgmental nature. Simply put, it means paying attention to the present moment.. our breathing, the sense of our feet planted in the turf, the smell of the chlorine as we’re pulling through the water, or the feeling of the racket in our hand. In addition, mindfulness means taking a non-judgmental attitude towards what we experience.. not interpreting it as good or bad, right or wrong, but rather describing what is. By practicing this skill of mindfulness the way we practice our physical skills in sport, we can build the muscle of mindfulness to keep our attention on the game at hand.

To learn more about how mindfulness can improve your game, contact Dr. Lori Jeffries for a confidential consultation.