No matter what your sport or competition of choice is, no one can deny the importance of the mental aspect as it relates to physical performance. Maintaining focus under pressure, when it matters most is a critical skill for any athlete. It requires hard work and dedication, and it can be achieved. Taking the time to develop pre- and in-competition routines can lead to greater confidence, focus, and, ultimately: optimal performance. Our team of athletes and experts have dialed in our best tips to help you get your head in the game when it matters most. Let’s get into it.
Develop A Meditation Practice
In recent years meditation has exploded into public consciousness. Champions including Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Russell Wilson all credit meditation with helping to achieve a sense of calm and remain focused at critical times. Establishing a meditation practice can help you achieve calm and sharpen your focus through regular and deliberate concentration on your breath. The effects of a regular routine are cumulative, so just like you experience gains in the gym, you’re going to reap the rewards of mental training as well. To get started, you can check out one of several app-based programs. Remember that even three deep breaths can deliver positive benefits, so start small and focus on establishing a habit that will continue to yield benefits on and off the court.
Use Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are used by everyone from top athletes to Navy SEALS to help regulate our body’s response to stimulus and think clearly. They work by increasing oxygen saturation, allowing our brains to focus on the task at hand. Breathing exercises can yield benefits including: increased calm, improved tolerance for intense exercise, lower blood pressure, and improved energy, all of which support excellence under pressure. Like meditation, you can try an app-based program, many of which offer a range of breathing exercises and guided programs to help you regulate your breath. Many of these techniques are simple enough to incorporate in the midst of physical activity, allowing you to access the benefits when you need them most.
A regular CBD supplement routine is a key player in developing peak performance under pressure, as it can work with the many physiological elements at work in your body during times of intense pressure. While feeling “pumped up” before and during competition is normal, too much anxiety can lead to poor performance. By interacting with cannabinoid receptors in the body and brain, CBD can help regulate processes such as stress and anxiety, and support enhanced calm and mental focus. Additionally, CBD can help promote lower cortisol levels, a hormone produced during stress that can negatively impact the body. With regular use, CBD can be a powerful tool to help prepare your mind and body for optimum performance, allowing you to achieve your personal best when under pressure.