Mindfulness meditation, thanks to the scientific evidence that has emerged in recent years, has proved useful for athletes.

As many athletes have long understood, the real opponent – even if it may seem an idealistic concept – is within ourselves. We cannot overlook the benefits that this kind of meditation offers to those who practice sports, benefits that allow us to come to terms with our strongest rival: ourselves. Mindfulness is effective for any type of athletic discipline (from fitness to golf, from bodybuilding to skiing), and even though the number of studies and research is still limited, there are already demonstrations of several benefits and of how they can improve sports performance.


  1. 1. Stress reduction Those who practice sports, not only at a professional level but also at an amateur level, know that one of the worst enemies is stress. Not only the one that builds up during physical activity, for example in the pre-match or the most intense periods of training but also all the stress that we get from our everyday activities. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that favors stress reduction, in fact, it has been shown how competing under stress has a clear negative impact on performance.
  1. Increases pain tolerance (even for those who have suffered an injury) A study by the University of Kent shows how meditation improves pain management: injured athletes were able to increase the tolerance threshold thanks to the practice of Mindfulness. The research was conducted on a sample of 20 professional athletes (14 males, 6 females), aged between 21 and 36, who had reported serious injuries (with a minimum 3-month prognosis). They were divided into two groups, both following the normal physiotherapy program. One of the groups carried out a Mindfulness session of an hour and a half per week, for a total of 2 months.
  2. Strengthens the immune system As mentioned, stress is a real enemy for every athlete who, in addition, weakens the immune system, and a sportsman certainly cannot afford to get sick, especially during periods of more intense training or competition. Many studies have shown that meditation, besides decreasing stress, leads to an improvement of the immune system. In particular, research published in the scientific journal Perspectives on Psychological Science indicates that mindfulness meditation: – Strengthens the immune system, – Reduces blood pressure, – Improves cognitive functions.
    • Strengthens the immune system,
    • Reduces blood pressure,
    • Improves cognitive functions.
  3. Helps focus and concentration Great athletes are aware of the importance of the mind in all sports, and in those where the mind must be focused on the target, such as fencing, it is essential. The closer you are to victory, the more you must stay concentrated, especially when you are about to make the final thrust. Who has never heard of the “fear of winning”? It is a mechanism that pushes the athlete to sabotage themselves, and meditation can defuse it by helping the athlete to always stay concentrated. Everyone can improve thanks to the fact that Mindfulness focuses on the present moment, pushing every sportsman to give their best.
  4. Improves sleep and recovery times. Sleeping is a necessity for everyone, sportsmen and everyone else. A study published in the Journal of Sleep has uncovered some problems that athletes who do not get enough sleep experience:
    • Mood disorders
    • Inability to concentrate
    • Increased anxiety
    • Motor control reduction
    • Weight gain
  5. Improves endurance Practicing Mindfulness also has important outcomes on the human body: athletes who visualize the achievement of a specific goal through meditation (typically in Mindfulness it is through breathing exercises), can train the body to work for longer, thus improving fatigue resistance. Training means trying and failing, over and over, and negative thoughts are often making things worse by crushing morale and ingraining negative thoughts in the athlete’s head, the classic “I can’t do it”. Mindfulness meditation helps to detach oneself from destructive and unhealthy thoughts that do not allow the athlete to achieve the set goals.
  6. 7. Makes you aware of yourself and your body. Thanks to Mindfulness, athletes can identify and conquer those gray areas where they struggle, latent mental and emotional states that can affect the performances, making challenges seem harder than they are. Thanks to mindfulness meditation, you achieve a greater awareness of your limits, your strengths, your fears, and your qualities; all the basis to build a healthy and real identity. Good self-esteem starts there. In addition, meditation increases the awareness of every muscle and muscle fiber, it allows you to understand your body in order to avoid unnecessary injuries, and it helps to train in the best way, respecting your limits. Everyone can experience these and many other advantages, all positive on a sporting level as well as on a personal level, like in a virtuous cycle. Mindfulness can help athletes suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, or mental illness, contributing to finding balance and awareness. Meditating is like any other new experience, a journey that you need to embrace with an open mind and the same competitive spirit you have on the field.
Progetto Venticinque ti organizza corsi di Mindfullness specifici per lo sport agonistico dell’ arte della scherma chiAMACI: + 39 3929389243.



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