Excitement is the energy, the fire and passion to train hard, face a challenge and execute the skills needed to get the job done.
- To breathe through your mind, rehearse the skills, use your exhale to execute the skills with power, speed and accuracy.
- To recruit the fitness, strength, and endurance in practice and focus on the feelings and sensations that signal proper form.
- To establish a blue collar work ethic and trust your ability to perform with passion and precision in competition.
- To accept the moment, enjoy the situation, and have enthusiasm for the process, win the battle with the distractions and possibly experience the power of the flow.
The need to battle with the distractions in competition is a major part of the clarity of focus needed to get the job done under extreme pressure and win. The distractions are related to the other team or individual(s), the negative emotions of frustration, anger, pain and fatigue.
Note that to consistently perform under extreme pressure, you may wish to establish a mantra: A key phrase that provides the confidence to breathe, stay present, be engaged and feel the feelings and sensations of joy and satisfaction. In this way you are preparing to experience The Power of Flow.
In general, the power of flow is the product of hard work, over learned nasal breathing and a laser-like focus; a very special energy that allows you to breathe, be relaxed and calm as you work your way through self-imposed limits. It is a very special place where the energy you expend comes back to you in the form of ease and exhilaration.
The Power of Flow is the authority that you give yourself to push through resistance and discomfort. It is a feeling that makes a difficult task feel easy, a boring task fun, and a very scary task feel both necessary and manageable.
My introduction to the power of flow was a mystical experience, an altered state of consciousness that was presented by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book, “Flow, The Psychology of Optimal Experience."
I utilized this approach to create flow experience while swimming at sunset in Waimea Bay in the summer, surfing in small waves in the spring and fall, and running in soft sand at Sunset Beach...again, in the summer.
Many endurance athletes that report getting in the flow during moments of extreme pressure give credit to deep nasal breathing, a relaxed concentration, the hard work in practice that is fun, and an overall full body sensations related to being at peace with the activity. At this point the flow takes over and the movement feels effortless.
These experiences with the flow can provide moments of serenity, a calm and peaceful place that has the power to heal a negative attitude or reframe a difficult situation. While strenuous activity seems to get you there faster. The same can be true for all and any deliberate form of exercise and movement.
Gratitude and Excitement work together
The thoughts and feelings that represent every aspect of your preparation will need to become the feelings of fire and passion and sensations that represent proper form, tempo and the intensity needed to execute the skills and get the job done.
About the photo:
Emma Schrady, 18
“See, Feel, Trust”
Emma is an elite athlete presently training with the gymnastic program at the University of Washington. She has clarity of focus to breathe, settle–down and create the calm and confidence required to:
• See: Visualize this routine in its entirety.
• Feel: Create the emotions and sensations related to proper form.
• Trust: Recruit the strength and quickness to execute such a powerful and beautiful movement.