Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state
Mentally clear & emotionally calm and stable – does it say it all? Do you think you can attain it while sleeping, practicing, or training?
Do you think mentally clear & emotional calm state is important?
This post is not about meditation. This is about reading into the obvious. Just like how our body informs us on our nutritional performance or muscular capabilities via different processes; our doings reflect our thought process – mind. If our conscious mind can process say 40 things at a given time, our subconscious mind is capable of processing million thoughts at the same time. What does it tell us?
The subconscious mind is also the powerhouse of our framed opinion and therefore, it needs to be understood more.
Ques: What is holistic-ness in training?
Looking after the demands – both physical & mental, of your body as required in the sport you play. This includes appropriate training to suit your sport, nutrition to sport that training, and lastly, the brain to process the demands of the game – build circuits. This is how we usually understand holistic training.
In my experience, all three – training, nutrition, & brain/mind have a strong connect then it is understood to be. The connect with brain is proven by myelin research conducted on top legends of the world. All talented people (that were part of the research) around the world, across different domains, were found to be carrying high myelin in their body as compare to their competitors. Myelin is an insulating sheat that wraps around neurocircuits and provide insulation through the circuit. A training is holistic when it works on building this circuit stronger, faster, and flexible and thereby increasing the insulation on neural circuits – myelin.
Our sub-conscious mind where we are processing millions of thoughts also needs to be trained to fire with the rest of the physical circuit. Also remember, physical circuit can’t be at its best without flawless CNS connectivity. Either way your brain becomes a very important element in any movement circuit.
In my opinion, sub-conscious mind is about several framed opinions which are changeable. But sadly we don’t want to change. We want to stick to our beliefs even if they haven’t done any good to us. We want to stick to same training methods that have given us injuries because somewhere it is been fed in our mind that it is best. We want to stick to the same food which hasn’t shown its potential to throw extra energy in the time of need. We would die of hunger but won’t eat anything that’s not allowed in our diet or worse we think we will gain weight if eat little extra any given day. We see our weight climbing on us, we feel the weight, and yet we stay adamant on our food habits.
Example: I had added sweets (kheer & ghevor) in my diet for 3 weeks with little adjustment in my meals and I did not gain a gram. Whereas, I read someone who gained a kilo in few days by adding an extra potato (yes, 1 potato) in their everyday diet. Therefore it is not always only the metabolic system responsible for nutrition; a lot of contribution also come from our mind. The whole idea of working on nutrition is to make our metabolic machinery strong and flexible. A strong machinery would digest whatever comes its way and its flexibility lies in conditioning the machinery to shuffle between different pathways.
The mind plays a very important role in the development of an athlete. Any player who followed my training without their own bias always reaped many more benefits than those who intermingled their thought process into my methodology. Perhaps, those who surrendered completely had also helped their sub-conscious mind to change and adapt in compare to a few who wanted to stick to both (also their own thought processes simultaneously).
Here is a case study of one such athlete:
A fast bowler playing state for the first time in U23 age category,, kept getting stronger with every match until the 8th days match where he was almost unplayable. He becoming the highest wicket taker in India in his first itself is a proof that he benefited from all factors that contribute to holisticness in training.
Everything has to work together to bring your best.
Changing the sub-conscious mind to adapt to your individual requirements in my opinion is an important and often forgotten aspect in training. Example: may be its not the strength, that you need, to improve your fitness…instead, it could be relaxation or movement training that can help you gain speed, strength, flexibility and power. Changing the sub-conscious mind in this context is to think of training from your body perspective and not because the world is following it. It can’t be a one way street where you keep hammering your body under load and then you expect it to shoot it like a rocket. If you wish to learn more about how to check your body’s requirement then browse my page and read my articles on stretching, running and relaxation.
To ensure physical success one requires to assess an individual at physical, mental, and metabolic level. Tweaking all variants at different levels to suit an individual’s body requirement to me is holistic training. Whether it is teaching attention/focus or re-wiring the electrical circuits in the body via movement training; it is about training all the necessary elements in our system.
It is not just the brain that works; it is the entire Central Nervous System along with the muscular system which is on the boil when you are playing. Millions or rather trillions of cells produce signals back and forth to produce sporting movements. Think of it like a big electric power house… and then think about its wires without insulation? What can happen?
Training the holistic way helps a lot in providing insulation to our electrical circuits to produce uninterrupted movements on demand.
Conscious mind on the other hand is a lot easier to handle. It is present and lively in any situation. However being aware of your current state is a MUST to connect with your subconscious mind in my opinion. It goes back and forth to sub-conscious mind to consult and seek help. In literal terms one must evaluate their skill set and work on improving what is required and not what everybody is after. Make your mind realise your real potential and then it would relate with your dreams better.
Once I took my team on a spiritual journey via what I then called ‘Match Mediation’ by connecting their past with present; their best performances with current; their family with their team; their home ground with existing; their breath with life; and finally their outside with inside. It was astounding to see their conviction into their thoughts via their expressionless personage. In the end they slept like a baby with no sense of existence.
It was as if they jumped at it! As if they wanted this peaceful sleep.
Result: Thorough relaxation
Lastly, it may all sound very complicated but it is the simplest process if we try to understand it. Work on the body as per its architecture. Work on what is required. Build strong foundations and keep rising without any fear.