A professional athlete’s key to success lies in his ability to manage all fronts equally well.
As an athlete, do you sometimes feel you have to play the game not only on the field but in life too, juggling personal time with time for family, training, and fans that idolize you?
Moreover, as your athletic career comes to an end fairly early in life, you are always under the risk of starting a new career at a time when friends from non-athletic backgrounds might be successful and growing.
At a time when there is more than enough to deal with in life, it would be such a relief if you have something to fall back on. The tips in this article will help you along the way.
Tip #1 – Handling the pressure of performing successfully
Have you come across instances in your athletic career where previous successes and praises from everywhere lead you to set a goal that is higher than your capacity to achieve? And when you are not able to meet expectations, this gap between capacity and desire sometimes fills you with defeat and frustration?
It is ideal to set realistic goals—definitely higher than previous ones but not something that is too difficult to achieve. Meeting your targets will require both hard work and smart work; hard work in your daily rigorous practice and smart work in the way you live your life (Tip #7 – A disciplined lifestyle).
If thoughts of achieving something beyond your capacity become too overwhelming and are distracting you from your game, remind yourself, “If I want to achieve something in the future, I have to work now—I have control only over the present moment, and not over the future”.
You can also set aside time for meditation before a game or routine practices. This technique of relaxation consolidates the scattered mind and makes your focus sharper.
Despite all your efforts, it’s possible you might experience defeat. At such times, relaxing through meditation can help you deal with your emotions.
In fact, we suggest you meditate for a few minutes every day. This can really help you raise the graph of self-motivation and morale. Have you noticed that frustration and uncertainty comes mostly when we doubt something? Doubting the positive is a result of low energy, and meditation can help with this by raising your energy levels. This will rejuvenate you while clearing doubts you might have about yourself or athletics as a whole.
Tip #2 – Dealing with media, fans, and spectators
If you are an athlete, the more successful you become, the more likely you are to be chased by media, sponsors, and fans. There is a good chance you will get carried away by the overpowering response from the public. This is more than enough to distract any player. What might help you at such times is being centered.
Centeredness helps you even when media alleges you for something you haven’t done or tries to interfere in your personal life. These are the times when you are most likely to react (in anger) instead of respond. You can prepare yourself to face such issues by training your mind to be calm. When you are not centered, your energy is scattered. Meditation consolidates this energy and makes you centered.
Meditation becomes very useful when it comes to handling such situations. Not only does it make you centered and cool your mind, but it also improves the quality of your observation and expression. When you are able to see a situation in depth—for what it really is—and not as what it portrays itself to be, you are better able to respond to it in a way that doesn’t mar your public image.
Fans following you everywhere is inevitable. It is a pleasure that not everyone gets to enjoy. But if you are on a vacation with family, who also need your quality time, you may choose a place that is more private than others to avoid the limelight.
Tip #3 – Approaching the same routine with a new enthusiasm every day
Sometimes routine trainings might appear dull and dreary. But you know the importance of regular practice very well.
What if you could learn the skill of enjoying whatever you do? Now that’s a secret!
If you participate wholeheartedly in whatever you do, everything becomes fun. For instance, you might have noticed that competition becomes thrilling when the audience cheers you on. Most of the times, it is because you are giving your 100 percent. Next, you might ask, how is it possible to give your 100 percent every time? Yes, it is possible. To do something 100 percent, you have to live in the now and totally enjoy the present moment. A good way to do that is by beginning your day with meditation. With the heightened awareness, you’ll see that every day has some unique and some routine aspects to offer. Enjoying the uniqueness of the day, you can move forward with the routine aspects.
You must have passion when you do work and dispassion when you want to rest. Meditation brings the dispassion in rest and that can make you passionate about your sport. – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Tip #4 – Avoid overexerting
While exercise is pivotal to success, rest is equally important. Exerting yourself too much might only wear you out.
We suggest you take adequate rest and ensure you don’t push yourself beyond your threshold. This will keep your body up to the mark and reduce the chances of injury, which might hamper your career in the long run.
Often, players have to travel a lot for events. It is ideal to get enough sleep before and after travelling, especially if the journey is long. Issues like jetlag, poor digestion, and motion sickness can be dealt with easily if you travel with a light stomach, meditate regularly, and exercise to cure motion sickness. Ginger is known to help overcome nausea. It may be chewed raw or brewed when preparing tea.
Four more tips coming your way in the sequel to this article