WORK ON YOURSELF LIKE AN ATHLETE

Tennis players are in my head at the moment! I am watching too much tennis on TV…

So I am watching all these great matches, and suddenly it occurs to me that I can’t really compare one player to another in terms of who’s winning and who’s not, as it probably all comes down to how much they train and how serious they are about their sport. They find themselves at different stages in their tennis career. They are built differently. And… they all have their own mind to deal with as they are playing.

Mixing this up with themes such as comparison, being happy with where you are in life, and discipline, I got tempted to go into my own “work on yourself like an athlete” type of mode.

For most of us, it is so easy not to take action, to do the same thing day in day out. However, how about changing your life up a bit? You could learn something new.

Now back to top tennis players: Take Alexander Zverev who trains in the gym 3-4 hours every day – that is probably the reason why he managed to win three consecutive five-setters in Paris last month. Or how about Djokovic who moves so well on the court – I just heard from a fitness coach that he stretches 6 (six!!) times a day. Clearly, nothing comes on a silver plate! Dedication to the sport, discipline to working on everything that is needed to perform at top level on court. Tennis players come with different bodies, different age, different discipline, they are where they are now due to the work they put in. And so it goes for the rest of us!

For the majority of us who are not top athletes 🙂 how about going into a “work on yourself like an athlete” mode and see what happens? With the aim to work on mind, breath and body? Below are my suggestions. And in case you play tennis, I have added benefits for a tennis player – might be something you’d like to consider!

Mind:

Daily meditation to increase awareness, to open to see things as they really are. Practising so that the present moment becomes your most important moment. Have you checked the time? It’s now – and then it’s now again! If you do care to stop for a moment and simply sit and breathe (a minute’s enough), perhaps noticing what your mind is doing. Jumping to past and or future events? Perhaps seeing the value of practising awareness so that this moment can get its own space instead of being squeezed between past and future. By doing the work, allowing for more clarity in your mind, more openness and less judgment about where you find yourself. More positive self-talk! For a tennis player, this could help staying focused on every strike of the ball instead of thinking about the future score or dwelling about that last passing shot. And staying positive whatever the score.

Breath:

Practising breath awareness, to befriend your breath and allow the breath to move freely within you, supporting you as you move your body. And also helping you in coming into a rest and relax mode whenever you want, calming the nervous system down. For a tennis player, working on breath awareness will allow for more effortless movement, as the breath will do it’s job to support the groundstrokes, serves and so on. Allowing breath and mind to come together. When the breath is calm, the mind can be calm too.

Body:

Finding the movement practice that works for you, so that you can enjoy fluidity in your movements, allowing for freedom of movement through the whole body, and for force to travel through the body effortlessly. I loved the way the tennis player Zverev was described as a “fluid athlete” on tv the other day, that’s my aim as I move around! For a tennis player, it is beneficial to balance power and relaxation, it will bring more energy to the body. Deciding on a movement practice that works for your body to improve your movement on court.

Mind, Breath and Body, this is all yoga 🙏🏻 Practise yoga and see what happens! I teach yoga in Wimbledon and have a passion for Yoga for Sports. You can contact me at annettewiikyoga@gmail.com. Both group and 1 to 1 sessions available. See you on the mat!

 

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children and live in Wimbledon.