Getting Everything Right

Getting Everything Right

Meditation, prayer for others, and mindfulness are proven strategies to improve performance. In our program, we’ve recently started to allocate practice time to such endeavors, and I’m convinced it is helping our players respond to the stresses that competition and practice are designed to bring. I’ve also noticed that it is helping me to be less reactive and more thoughtful. We want this from ourselves and our players, but let’s be honest: without a structured plan, we often have difficulty implementing it.

An experienced coach recently shared with me that investing in sharpening your axe before cutting a tree is wise, and I couldn’t agree more. This is what the practice of meditation, prayer for others, and mindfulness does. The Samurai warrior is an excellent example. Known to be well-trained, fit, and experts with the sword, they had a disciplined allocation of time for meditation and prayer. The practice of stilling the mind helped them maintain focus in difficult times. The same is true when we pray for our enemies. It is hard to have anger towards someone when we’ve spent time praying for them.

In 2020, Novak Djokovic was defaulted for hitting an official with a ball. He intended to hit the back fence but misfired out of frustration and hit the wrong target.  The incident was seen by millions of people. This was far from his greatest moment. However, he has worked diligently to improve on and off of the tennis court. As a Christian and a practicing yogi, prayer and meditation appear to be important to the world’s current number-one player.  I’m betting he understands that these practices are essential for his performance, happiness, and effectiveness in all areas of his life. Let’s help our young people form these habits early to become peaceful warriors, but we must walk the talk. Like Djokovic, this area of our life is within our control.