What is Mindfulness?
"Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally."
- Jon Kabat Zinn
Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions
Have you ever felt you're spiraling out of control on court? You're tense and you're caught in negativity?
By learning to label feelings and emotions correctly it will become much easier to just let them go without attaching to them.
Stay focused on the present moment
When we get into stressful situations on court, our mind oftentimes starts to ruminate or project into the future. "Here we go again, I can't close out a set after being up 5:2" or "I'm going to lose if I don't win this game."
Instead of panicking, learn how to pay attention to only what's relevant this very moment, this very next point.
Be kinder to yourself
By realizing that not all our thoughts are true we can let go of negativity and formulate a game plan for the very next point. The only point that matters in the moment.
Read what Novak Djokovic has to say about Mindfulness:
“I do it everyday for about 15 minutes and it is as important to me as my physical training…Instead of trying to silence your mind or find ‘inner peace’, you allow and accept your thoughts as they come…they do bounce around like crazy, but they’re supposed to, your job is to let them come and go”.
“I’ve done so much mindfulness that my brain functions better now automatically…I used to freeze up whenever I made a mistake. Now when I blow a serve or shank a backhand I still get those flashes of self doubt but I know how to handle them”.
I also work on the mental, because that's also very, very important. It's definitely showing through my matches where I'm staying in the present moment a lot of the time. I don't like to focus on what just happened or in the future.”
“I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is I meditate,” she explained. “I think it really helps me get a good jump-start to the day. Not opening my phone or anything, not getting too overwhelmed.
I take 15 minutes every morning just to get in tune with my body, my mind. I visualize myself having a good day, like, stuff like that.
I feel like a lot of people work on the physical part of things, but I think the mental part is the most important because it controls your whole body, right?”