The state of flow – Turn on your mind and illuminate performance™
Lo stato di flow – Accendi la mente illumina la performance ®
by Aurora Puccio Sport Mental Coach
Every athlete has a personal routine to activate the mind to face competition. The goal is to create the flow state. That is a specific mental state: the best friend of any kind of performer, because for sure he can use all the resources available to the highest possible potential.
This is the first reason why you must not copy a champion’s routine. It is a big mistake.
You can take inspiration, of course. But if you try to replicate one of the thousand paranoid routines for example, let us think of Rafael Nadal, one of the best tennis players in the world – it will not work for you. Here are some examples: during the break he puts two bottles always in the exact same position. The service performs a series of gestures, like ticks, always in the same sequence several times. And others impossible to write all here.
You are different. Pay attention, please. I cannot say you are not a champion. You are. I am trying to explain that you are “the one and only”. You only need to find your way respecting yourself and your attitude.
So what can we do?
I have good news for you. The state of flow is a natural state that you can reproduce all the time you need. It is as if you had to switch on and off the mind, exactly like a light bulb.
But I have also bad news. You have to practise it. So what are you going to do in order to obtain the result?
The result of your performance is directly connected with technical, physical and mind performance.
Regarding technical and physical performance there are no doubts: you find the right time for training. But now I am going to ask you:How much time do you spend in mental training during your daily workout?
This is the point. You believe mental practice is something to dedicate just five minutes before the race. This is your second big mistake. Mental training needs to be taken care of, as much as technical and physical training. You have to create a specific period of time, observe what happens in your mind and enter in action with specific exercises. And when you get to find the key of your mental process, you have to continue practice. There are many things you can discover about you, that are very useful for your performance.
In other words you must become a “researcher”. You must explore inside your mind. If you do this, you are ready for your best results.
In conclusion, I want to suggest a very short exercise to you. It is not the only one, but it is great to start with. When you decide to switch on the mind light, probably the real difficulty is to let go your bad thoughts. Those ones like fear of failure, or something like this. You get it!
In this case you just need to take your mind to the present moment. And if you think “just one thing”, one specific thought works for you, there is no space for other ones.
Thinking just one thing could be a word, a phrase, a song or a picture connected to the past at the moment you were a winner.
Be careful to put a good intention and believe in your job. It could not work sometimes. It is normal. But never stop believing in it. You have to try… and try again, until it becomes automatic. So good practice and remember: Turn on your mind and illuminate performance!
(photo wilkipedia – foto di copertina Deepblumedia)