Kobe Bryant once said that mastering your craft takes sacrifice. Athletes spend time working out, exhausting their bodies in training so that when the pressure is on, they have the stamina and mental fortitude to perform. During games, athletes also have to overcome their nerves and practice breathing exercises to keep their mind and body in sync. After a tough game or intense training session, it can be difficult to wind down, which can lead to stress, soreness, fatigue, and depression.
So how can you relax as athletes do? There are three relaxation techniques to adopt.
1. Calming Down After Workouts and Training
Training is necessary to get ahead, whether it’s sports, weight loss, muscle toning, or just getting in shape. Recovery is a natural step in the process of body conditioning regardless of the activity or training methods. Many athletes swear by a soothing muscle soak with epsom salt or a CBD oil bath bomb combined with a muscle targeting self-care routine.
Most of us, athletes included, hold muscle tension in their bodies after workouts. Once muscles become stiff and tight, it’s harder to perform during competition. To relieve tension, athletes practice the following:
- Deep breathing
- Hydration with alkaline water
- Deep tissue massage
These active relaxation techniques help your mind and body release tension and relax after strenuous exercise.
2. Think About the Process, Instead of the Result
Many athletes overcome nerves by focusing on what they need to do at the moment and how they can perfect their process. So, what do you need to perform your best? Instead of thinking about the end of the game and winning or losing, you only have to think about your technique and tactics.
Once you focus on the task at hand, then you can improve your real-time analysis skills. It’s also possible to improve your relaxation with positive thinking and to remind yourself that all you can do is your best.
If your nerves ever start to take over, give yourself a 3-second pause to breathe and remind yourself what you are doing at the very moment. At this moment, athletes often use keywords like easy, relax, calm, and serenity. This “psych-down” technique involves picturing the word and breathing in deeply, letting your mind refocus on the moment.
3. Create Playlists with Songs You Love
Msic is one of the best ways to get into a different mood and change up your thinking. Many athletes have certain songs that help them channel emotions and focus. For example, they have a playlist that they listen to before a game because it puts them in the mood to succeed. In other cases, playlists let you calm down, slow your breathing, and think positively about life.
When you schedule some time alone, you can set up a playlist to aid in your meditation and deep breathing. There are traditional meditation playlists, chill tempo ambient playlists, or use “Made for You” playlists by Spotify.
Music also helps you stay on task while training or at the gym. It can pump you up and give you that extra energy you need to go another mile. That’s why so many athletes have playlists for different types of workouts, such as a high-intensity playlist for cardio.
How Do You Wind Down?
After a long day, athletes take time to hit pause and focus on the present. Always aware of how their bodies feel in order to tackle any pain points right away. Not only does this relaxation period help to recover overworked muscles, but it can also reduce mental stress and make it easier to relax your entire body. What techniques can you adopt from the professionals to help keep your body and mind in tip-top shape?