This is quiet strange I am sitting on a plane. A small plane with some 25 passengers and I am so cramped in to this seat. Have been reading an article about sports psychology and mind training. It’s reasonably interesting, nothing new or surprising. It did get me thinking in between shifting and twisting in this seat that has my knees spread and hard against the seat in front. It’s even hard to type with the laptop pressing against my stomach, but I will forge on.
What I was thinking was how under utilised or maybe appreciated or mental capacities are when it comes to performance. This may be different for various sports but my sense is that often athletes develop their strategies intuitively. Shit I’ve got a cramp in my hip, shit I can’t move. Oh this is uncomfortable. How much longer I wonder. I am moaning but I don’t seem to be able to stop the incessant chatter going on in my mind about the discomfort. So anyway the mind training stuff in this article as I said is nothing new, but I believe that it is valuable. So I will try a few of the activities I have learned over the years to assist in this situation. The first thing is breathing. For the next few minutes I will stop typing and work on my breathing…
Ok what I noticed was that while focusing on breathing was great to bring me into the moment, my mind still seemed to be able to wonder off into thought streams. I will give it another go…
This time I found my clarity with the breathing and felt more centred. The thoughts did not enter until the gentlemen next to me moved in his seat and that seemed to affect my attention. It change and the clarity faded. The funny thing is that I have not worried or fused over the seat or my comfort. It’s quiet remarkable.
The article mentioned breath activities as one of the strategies that athletes can use to enable high performance. Well it helps for sitting in a cramped seat on a plan too.
Since I am sitting hear I should mention the training that I did today. This morning I did an ergo session and then a bike ride. So today I have clocked almost 3hr with a mixture of intensity. I had to fit it in before catching this flight. Tonight I have to go to a sport dinner across the boarder into New South Wales. Tomorrow morning I fly back early and will then spend some time with my family before doing another ergo and bike session.
Tonight involve presenting sports award trophies and giving a short talk about being an athlete and Olympian. Getting the opportunity to share some stories is great, but even more important from my perspective is sharing stories about rowing to athlete, coaches, families and friends who probably don’t know anything about our sport.