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Mastering Mindfulness


Vipercrunch

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22 minutes ago, Vipercrunch said:

Absolutely one of lifes secrets to unlock to making the most out of every experience. 

Deep, repetitive mindful breathing is an important high performance tool when practiced as intended. For the uninitiated give this 11 min practise a go and see how you feel immediately afterwards and for the preceding hour or so.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Vipercrunch said:

Cheers for the link Vipercrunch!

A very important practice to help stay in the moment. I do a fair bit of Yoga which incorporates this stuff but I've personally found this a very difficult skill to get a handle on but like anything it takes practice. With devices and multitasking activity going through the roof these days I wouldn't be surprised if the average human as twice as many thoughts now and it can be very hard to shut it off. Mindfulness tells your mind that it's ok to just think about one thing right now. 

Edited by layzie
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17 minutes ago, layzie said:

Cheers for the link Vipercrunch!

A very important practice to help stay in the moment. I do a fair bit of Yoga which incorporates this stuff but I've personally found this a very difficult skill to get a handle on but like anything it takes practice. With devices and multitasking activity going through the roof these days I wouldn't be surprised if the average human as twice as many thoughts now and it can be very hard to shut it off. Mindfulness tells your mind that it's ok to just think about one thing right now. 

Winning 3 more games….

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here's something I prepared earlier...

 

In our sessions, we will talk about the role of awareness as a first step to helping us make changes that will be beneficial to our performance. In particular, we focus on a particular type of awareness called mindfulness. The term mindfulness has its roots in eastern spiritual and religious traditions, however psychology has recognized its importance, and has removed the spiritual and religious context to help improve physical and emotional well-being. This approach can be useful no matter your religious or spiritual (or non) preference.


Mindfulness is nonjudgemental (compassionate) present-moment awareness of what is going on inside of us and around us. We often live our lives focused on something other than what is happening in the moment (in sport, focus is having your eyes and your mind attuned to the exact same task)- worrying about the future, ruminating about the past, focusing on what is coming up next, rather than our present task. Importantly, it is useful that we can do things without paying attention to them.  We can walk without thinking about walking, which allows us to talk to the person we are walking with, without having to think.  However this ability to do things automatically without awareness, also allows us to lose touch with what is happening right in front of us. We can develop habits (such as avoiding embarrassment), that we are not even aware of and that may not be in line with our broader goals.


Sometimes though, when we DO pay close attention to our thoughts and feelings, we become very critical of our thoughts and feelings and either try to change them or to distract ourselves because judgemental awareness can be very painful. For example, we might notice while we are about to compete that we feel sweaty or that our heart is racing and then think “ I’m an [censored], what is wrong with me!! If I don’t calm down, I won’t be able to perform to my peak!!”


Being mindful falls between these two extremes. We pay attention to what is happening inside and around us, we acknowledge events and experiences as what they are, and we allow things we cannot control to be as they are, while we focus our attention on the task at hand.

For example, when competing we may notice the same feelings of stress/anxiety that came up earlier, take a moment to reflect, “There go my thoughts again,” and gently bring our attention back to our task.  This second part of mindfulness – letting go of the need to critically judge and change our inner experience- is particularly tricky. In fact, often being mindful involves practicing being nonjudgemental about our tendency to be judgemental!  

At x we believe that being mindful is a personal experience that can bring flexibility to your performances and life and will work collaboratively with you to find the best ways to apply this approach.


A FEW KEY POINTS:
Mindfulness is a process: We do not achieve a final and total state of mindfulness. It is a way of being in one moment that comes and goes. Mindfulness is losing our focus 100 times and returning to it 101 times.


Mindfulness is a habit: Just like we learned to go on automatic pilot by practicing it over and over (like learning to ride a bike!), we can learn mindfulness through practice. The more we invest in time to practice it, the easier it becomes to have moments of mindfulness, especially in the crucial moments of your performance.


Mindfulness activities come in many different forms: People engage in formal mindful practices like yoga, meditation or tai chi. Although these practices can take hours or days, we aim to make mindfulness easy to fit into your busy lifestyle.  People can be mindful for a moment, attending to their breath at any point of the day and noticing their experiences. ALL FORMS of mindful practice in beneficial


Mindfulness brings us more fully into our lives: Sometimes, especially early in treatment, we will practice mindfulness in ways that seem very relaxing and removed from the stressors of our daily lives, however the ultimate goal of mindfulness is to keep us more fully in our performance (and lives) and to improve our overall performance (and life satisfaction). Mindfulness can allow us to pause and ready ourselves for some event and bring us more fully into the task, so we perform at a higher and more consistent level, without being taken away by our thoughts and feelings.

 

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4 hours ago, Engorged Onion said:

here's something I prepared earlier...

 

In our sessions, we will talk about the role of awareness as a first step to helping us make changes that will be beneficial to our performance. In particular, we focus on a particular type of awareness called mindfulness. The term mindfulness has its roots in eastern spiritual and religious traditions, however psychology has recognized its importance, and has removed the spiritual and religious context to help improve physical and emotional well-being. This approach can be useful no matter your religious or spiritual (or non) preference.


Mindfulness is nonjudgemental (compassionate) present-moment awareness of what is going on inside of us and around us. We often live our lives focused on something other than what is happening in the moment (in sport, focus is having your eyes and your mind attuned to the exact same task)- worrying about the future, ruminating about the past, focusing on what is coming up next, rather than our present task. Importantly, it is useful that we can do things without paying attention to them.  We can walk without thinking about walking, which allows us to talk to the person we are walking with, without having to think.  However this ability to do things automatically without awareness, also allows us to lose touch with what is happening right in front of us. We can develop habits (such as avoiding embarrassment), that we are not even aware of and that may not be in line with our broader goals.


Sometimes though, when we DO pay close attention to our thoughts and feelings, we become very critical of our thoughts and feelings and either try to change them or to distract ourselves because judgemental awareness can be very painful. For example, we might notice while we are about to compete that we feel sweaty or that our heart is racing and then think “ I’m an [censored], what is wrong with me!! If I don’t calm down, I won’t be able to perform to my peak!!”


Being mindful falls between these two extremes. We pay attention to what is happening inside and around us, we acknowledge events and experiences as what they are, and we allow things we cannot control to be as they are, while we focus our attention on the task at hand.

For example, when competing we may notice the same feelings of stress/anxiety that came up earlier, take a moment to reflect, “There go my thoughts again,” and gently bring our attention back to our task.  This second part of mindfulness – letting go of the need to critically judge and change our inner experience- is particularly tricky. In fact, often being mindful involves practicing being nonjudgemental about our tendency to be judgemental!  

At x we believe that being mindful is a personal experience that can bring flexibility to your performances and life and will work collaboratively with you to find the best ways to apply this approach.


A FEW KEY POINTS:
Mindfulness is a process: We do not achieve a final and total state of mindfulness. It is a way of being in one moment that comes and goes. Mindfulness is losing our focus 100 times and returning to it 101 times.


Mindfulness is a habit: Just like we learned to go on automatic pilot by practicing it over and over (like learning to ride a bike!), we can learn mindfulness through practice. The more we invest in time to practice it, the easier it becomes to have moments of mindfulness, especially in the crucial moments of your performance.


Mindfulness activities come in many different forms: People engage in formal mindful practices like yoga, meditation or tai chi. Although these practices can take hours or days, we aim to make mindfulness easy to fit into your busy lifestyle.  People can be mindful for a moment, attending to their breath at any point of the day and noticing their experiences. ALL FORMS of mindful practice in beneficial


Mindfulness brings us more fully into our lives: Sometimes, especially early in treatment, we will practice mindfulness in ways that seem very relaxing and removed from the stressors of our daily lives, however the ultimate goal of mindfulness is to keep us more fully in our performance (and lives) and to improve our overall performance (and life satisfaction). Mindfulness can allow us to pause and ready ourselves for some event and bring us more fully into the task, so we perform at a higher and more consistent level, without being taken away by our thoughts and feelings.

 

Thanks OG is it possible to write a shorter version of this. I read the first couple of paragraphs but then got distracted and couldn't finish reading. Anyway I have to head off now and do 3 things.

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I reckon the Saints with their pre-game laying down meditation in the centre bounce might be taking it too far though. They might be calming their minds, but it seems like something that would relax your body and make you drowsy. No wonder they come out lethargic. But what would I know. 

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3 hours ago, 1964_2 said:

Who was it? 

13 hours ago, rpfc said:

Roos brought that with him and this is the evolution of it into a pillar of high performance. 

Love following a competent club!

That is my recollection.

Tami held meditation sessions for players, often before games; meditation being one technique to assist with 'mindfulness' or 'being in the moment.  That was 8 years ago.  Not sure if it lapsed for a few years.

 

As an aside,  people in the AFL started taking more notice of meditation and being in the moment techniques when Dusty openly talked about the work he did before and scince the 2017 premiership.

The evolution of mindfulness for performance at mfc seems to have been more public in the last 4-5 years people.  I've read that Viney and Petracca did/do meditation sessions - not sue if that is a continuation of the work Tami did but I would say her work would have been the first in that space at our club. 

The impression I had it was left to each player to do what they were comfortable with.

Our most public advocate is Goodwin when in the 2020 off season he sort out a variety of mentors/approaches for self awareness/self improvement etc, including what I think he called 'energy healing'.   No coincidence he chose the song 'This Is Me' as the theme for the team in 2021 and it was played in the rooms before and during the GF.

On the lighter side when we were behind in the third qtr of the GF, Williams apparently said to Petracca something like 'you've been doing all this mindfulness work so lets see what good it has done you'.  Not long after Petracca kicked his soccer goal from the boundary and came back to the centre with nostrils flaring and a look in his eyes that said:  over my dead body do we lose this game. 

image.png.72162d2ce653b49ab07e10a444273a99.png

Petracca must have shifted his mindset to whatever his 'triggers' were to be in the moment.  It worked.

I note Stephen Rendall joined mfc in January this year.  So it appears the club is investing more in sports science psychology and perhaps actively encourage players to participate, probably on the back of how effective mindfulness work was for us last year.

Edited by Lucifers Hero
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The most difficult think to do, IMO, is to take the practice into daily life.

When consciously meditating it is easy to watch the mind, after a few years! To be aware of this moment as we go about our daily life is the difficult one. By the time the mind reminds us, then it is already that we have missed it.

Sometimes being in the present means watching the thoughts and not controlling them. Watch the wild thing.

A tether can help when we have to do a specific action. So being able to tether or quieten the cacophony of thoughts in order to perform in the zone is a great skill to have for an elite sports performance.

However, when going about life, the mind with all its thoughts is watchable and soon enough you become the watcher, and in that place life seems so joyful, fun, sacred. 

Edited by kev martin
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19 hours ago, rpfc said:

Roos brought that with him and this is the evolution of it into a pillar of high performance. 

Love following a competent club!

Tami Roos worked with the Swans on this practice. Like anything else works for some and not for others. If can help to focus on the job in hand - great. As mentioned so much training goes on skills and the physical, and so little on the mind. Sportspeople today have so many “invasions” and distractions with internet & social media it would make it hard to stay focussed. All good stuff I reckon, know let’s just get back the breath.

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16 hours ago, chookrat said:

Thanks OG is it possible to write a shorter version of this. I read the first couple of paragraphs but then got distracted and couldn't finish reading. Anyway I have to head off now and do 3 things.

SKILLS OF MINDFULNESS
These aspects of mindfulness require practice (it’s a skill, not a pill). We can continue to attend to these elements and develop them further throughout our lives. Keep them in mind as you develop your own practice and watch how they emerge, fade and reemerge.

Awareness
Learning to focus your attention, rather than having it in many places at once
Becoming aware of thoughts, emotions and physical sensations as well as sights, sounds, smells and tastes

Nonjudgemental Observation
Developing a sense of compassion towards your internal experiences.
Becoming aware of the constant judgements we make about our experiences
Stepping back and noticing experiences without labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’

Staying in the Moment
Observing the here and now rather than focusing on the past or future
Practicing patience with the present moment rather than rushing to whatever is next
Participating in experiences as they occur

Beginners Mind
Observing things as they really are, rather than letting what we think we ‘know’ to be true, cloud the experience that we are having.
 

 

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oh! @chookrat, were you taking the [censored]??

anyway, here is some more!

Notice internal and external events, trying to focus your attention on the things happening around you and the thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and images that come up and noticing when your attention wanders.

Practice patience with the present moment, staying in this moment and noticing the urge to rush ahead to the next thing.
Try to notice judgements of your experience and of yourself. Try to be compassionate in your awareness of your internal experience, practicing having your thoughts and feelings without labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

Notice the urge to judge things based on past experiences. Attempt to bring beginners mind to the experience, observing things as they are rather than as you think they will be.

Notice the urge to hold onto certain feelings (eg: happiness, relaxation) and the urge to push other feelings away (eg: sadness, anxiety, frustration). Practice letting go of this struggle, just allowing thoughts and feelings to come and go as they will.
You can practice mindfulness while you do just about anything. Here are some suggested activities to try mindfully:

Eating            Driving            Breathing        Cleaning your Teeth    
Sitting            Listening to Music    Walking        Examining an Object
Washing Dishes    Cooking         Working        Taking a shower

Kicking 6 goals in a Grand Final...

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