When is comes to winning or losing a title or a competition, maybe the competition you prepared all your life for, best performers have personal rules and they don’t let much to the chance. They respect to the letter The 3 Golden Rule !
Rule number one : Enough Sleep
The National Sleep Research Project, states that if it takes you less than 5 minutes to fall asleep, you are sleep deprived.
According to many years of research, experts say that the most important thing for boosting athletic performance and winning a championship or a world record, isn’t the most amazing uniform or the best shoes or a high-carbohydrate diet, the secret is actually a bit more simpler: A good night Sleep!
“I think sleep gets the shorter end of the stick, when we all, athlete or otherwise, have competing priorities,” said Norah Simpson, a sports scientist at Stanford University who studies the role of sleep on athletic performance. And sometimes athletes are confronting with jet lag, thanks to international travel, or unusual time when the competition takes place.
To understand even better the consequences of sleep deprivation, you need to know that sleep is a resource that condition the state of well-being and the physiology of a human, long interruption generates serious disorders. Human performance is dependent of sleep-wake homeostasis ( the sleep-biorhythmia is genetically determined and has a regular character). Sports performance is dependent on both, the amount of sleep you get, and quality of the sleep before a competition.
The negative effects of sleep deprivation include : thinking process is slowing down, decline of memory capacity, decreased alertness, attention concentration, decline of efficiency in aerobic and anaerobic exercises, faster fatigue, and hindrance to restoration.
Did you know that top athletes, like Roger Federer, gets between 11 and 12 hours of sleep per night, also the NBA basketball player, LeBron James, gets 12 hours of sleep per night? How many hours do you have?
Oxygen is an essential element, air quality and breathing are directly related to the quality of life. Any vices have negative effects on the human being and cause somatic and psychic disorders. In sport performance, oxygen is essential to all athletes because it facilitates the production of glycogen, one of the main sources of muscle energy. During training, the glucose molecule is divided into 2 molecules of pyruvic acid. One of the molecules enters muscle cells, where, in combination with oxygen, produces triphosphate adenosine (ATP – Adenosine TriPhosphate) – the source of muscle energy.
Recommendations on healthy breathing:
- You should do your physical exercises in areas with the lowest possible degree of pollution ( especially early in the morning, mountain where the air is thinner, also in parks, green areas, outside the city);
- You should avoid exercising in periods with ultraviolet rays, if you can’t, you should try indoor;
- Avoid arias where is smoke or people smoke ;
- The attention should be focused on breathing, and the muscles involved in breathing, to have maximum efficiency you should ask for specialized help.
According to Professor Peter Clough and Dr. Keith Earl, “mental strength is the capacity that an individual has to deal effectively with the stressors, challenges and pressure to present their best performance in spite of their circumstances”.
The application of mindfulness in sport performance is more popular then ever, but in the year 1775 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presented the Flow Theory, witch suggests that optimal performance can be achieved when the mind of the executing person is totally absorbed by the task. Work experience is an interaction between skill and level of challenge. Experience with “flow “is more likely to occur when an athlete is highly qualified and personally challenged by the situation.
For example in combat sports like Mixed Martial Arts, for the athlete to have the best mental focus, it is necessary to move into “another world “ once he steps into the octagon, ring or tatami, where sometimes nothing more is heard then the coach’s instructions.
Here you have some of the most important benefits of mindfulness:
- Improves ability to control thoughts and emotions;
- Manage psychical discomfort;
- Increase recovery time;
- Maintain you present 100% in the moment;
- Enhance endurance and concentration;
- Increases connection between the brain and body, enhancing physical efficiency;
- Boosts your confidence – by learning how to get unstuck from negative thinking patterns;
- Mindfulness helps you adapt and change to whatever situation you are faced with.
What rules do you have and use, for your personal success?