Think your mind and body aren’t connected? Think again. And read on.
Denis Waitley advises athletes, astronauts and CEOs on how to make the most of the mind-body connection to give them a mental edge—a vital edge. As the former head of psychological training for the U.S. Olympic team, Waitley helped athletes sharpen their focus with a routine that begins by saying: “I’m relaxed, focused and feel great. My muscles are well-trained and powerful. My lungs are strong and clear. My stomach is warm.”
Athletes also recite to themselves a few upbeat trigger words just before an event. So a gymnast preparing for the vault might think, “speed, explode, rotate, plant,” which tells her body to run down the runway, fully extend on the side of the horse, rotate in air and nail the landing brilliantly.
That’s the opposite of telling yourself: “I hope I don’t fall. I hope I don’t get nervous. I’m getting an upset stomach. The floor exercises are distracting.” Or what a coach years ago told a figure skater: Get tough, get firm, bear down, don’t fall. A bad mistake, Waitley says.
“That’d be like telling a high-wire walker: ‘Don’t fall. Very windy, windy day. No net. Remember—no net.’ That would make you immediately tighten up.”
All of these negative thoughts might be going through an inexperienced person’s mind. Waitley calls them “ANTs”—abstract negative thoughts. They’re like ants at a picnic, distracting and possibly ruinous even though they should be of little consequence. “We live in a society crammed full of these abstract negative thoughts,” he says. “That’s why it’s so important to relax, concentrate, focus, and then get this mindset of a champion, this mental training going for you.”
Think positive! Be Do Have!!!