How do you push through the pain and continue competing in a sport?
This question was asked to a range of Olympians and top performers in their field of sports. The majority of answers were not about doing anything physically, but mentally.
Some of the phrases athletes used were ‘discipline my thought’, ’think “I have more in me”’, ’repeat lyrics in my head’, visualize someone encouraging me’, focus on feeling light and quick’, ‘remind myself ‘I want this’”.
A director at Canadian Sports Centre Pacific is a believer in the power of mental techniques to help athletes persevere and succeed.
A new study in Scientific American breaks down various types of motivational thinking, referred to as self-talk, for various types of sport. Motivational thoughts and phrases are found effective during athletic performance.
If this type of motivational thinking can help a person power through pain and discomfort, is this a signal for using the power of thought for a person’s health?
I am not a professional athlete by any stretch of the imagination – I applaud their ability and determination. However, in some of my more demanding gym classes (like body pump and spinning) I have used this idea of motivational thinking a slightly different way to complete the class. My self-talk is not ‘you can do it’, but more along the lines of claiming my freedom from limitation as an expression of divine Mind – ‘Mind is doing it and I am a reflection of this limitless freedom and capability.’
Did that self-talk expression throw you a curve?
I prefer to enhance the mental motivational thinking with prayerful thinking. I connect to a source higher than myself which opens the door for possibilities the human mind cannot reach. I prayerfully strive to understand that I reflect the dominion given to me as a child of infinite Mind as stated in the first chapter of Genesis in the Bible.
Aligning my thought with my spiritual selfhood as a child of a loving God has given me strength to finish the course and not have any painful aftereffects in a number of physically demanding situations.