It’s been a while since I’ve written and I want to fill you in on a new direction for my blog that I am now calling “The Practice.”
I renamed my blog The Practice in part because a lot of what I do and think about, reverts back to my background as an athlete and coach. Sports had a lot to do with shaping my life, and practice is a big part of sports. On a higher level though, I’ve come to realize that whether you are an athlete or not, you become what you practice. And whether you know it or not, you’re always practicing something. And since you get better at what you practice, you need to be careful and intentional about how you spend your precious time.
This spring I had the pleasure of working with a college lacrosse team. I met regularly with the team and the coaches over Zoom. After getting to know them and their challenges, much of my focus was on changing their collective mindset and helping them with their focus. Along the way, we touched on gratitude, self-compassion, the value of meditation, and simply learning how to become more self-aware of our inner dialogue. It became part of their practice.
Ultimately, they had a very successful season, losing to the eventual national champ in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament. A survey of the team confirmed to me that through their sport, they learned a lot about themselves, and they learned much about how to manage their minds in ways that helped them on, and off the playing field. By understanding the nature of their minds, they were able to make shifts in their perspective which led to better performance.
It’s hard to put into words how happy I felt when reading their survey responses, particularly the stuff about learning to manage their workload, academic pressure, relationships etc. better because of the training.
So whether you are an athlete or not, you can be an athlete of the mind.
It just takes practice.