NBC news ran a story yesterday about reducing anxiety in Cubs fans watching the World Series. As someone that has studied Psychology, Applied Behavioral Analysis, and Organization Development, I will like to take it a step further and ask how should these teams who are both hungry for long-awaited wins handle the stress and anxiety of performance during game 6 today?
So I sat trying to understand how a team that has not won a World Series in 68 years (Cleveland Indians) and another baseball organization that has not won in 108 years (Chicago Cubs) mentally and emotionally prepares for game 6 of the World Series. I instantly thought back to Phil Jackson and his “MINDFULNESS” practices with the Chicago Bulls and L.A. Lakers and how it was rumored to be the power behind him being a multiple championship coach. He taught them how to meditate to build a stronger mind (SupersoulSunday, 2016).
Perhaps meditating on how they plan to win and seeing themselves through meditation “winning” will help increase their chances. I myself believe in meditating about 20 minutes focusing on ideas or areas needed for change.
I have come to understand the benefits of meditation, and that it takes more than will -power, but strong self-talk (the things that you say to yourself inside your own head) (to redevelop your thinking pattern in the brain), in order to change unwanted behavior. “Athletes need to realize that it’s tough to do your best in a sport when your own internal voice is telling you otherwise” (Quinn, 2016, para. 4).
Because it has proven to provide such concrete benefits, I began to hope that a great majority of the players either partake in meditation or encourage self-talk. Because let’s face it, “anxiety” that contributes to bad performances, loses games.
What do you think?
Supersoul Sunday. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqz7R-QalqY
Quinn, E. (2016). Overcoming Performance Anxiety with Sports Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.verywell.com/sports-psychology-for-performance-anxiety-3119436