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Mind: lessons from sport

This month, we’ve got some guest blogs from one of our ambassadors who is immersed in the world of elite sport, and in particular the lessons we can transfer from the sports world into our wider lives.

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How does stress impact my mind and my life?

Everyone has stresses in their lives and how they experience that is individual to them. What it very clear is there are aspects of our lives that are in our control and there are areas that are out of our control. Where we chose to focus our mind can often have a huge impact on our wellbeing.

In sport similarly, we have controllable and non-controllable elements of our environments. Elite world class athletes always focus on the controllable elements of their lives and learn to let go of any focus on the non-controllable elements. A great example of this would be a professional runner loading themselves up with stress because the forecast is rain. It doesn’t matter how much energy the athlete expends; they’ll never be able to control the weather. But by focussing their mind on this, they create a snowball effect of issues that can impact on their sleep, health, energy levels and readiness for a competition.

Some examples from the non-sporting world would be encountering traffic on the way to work, or the Wi-Fi going down at home. They may seem like trivial things in the bigger scheme of things but letting some of these uncontrollable aspects to our lives not dominate our thoughts, we can feel fresher, more energised, happier and like a weight has been lifted off our shoulders. Some simple tips for helping you on daily journey for your mind:

  1. Recognising the metaphorical neon signs that are vying for your attention.

  2. Asking yourself what is within your control or sphere of influence.

  3. Ensuring your mind remains focussed on the parts of your life that you can control.

Author, Kevin Pickard

AP Race Coaches Network

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