During their mindfulness lesson this week, 6th and 7th grade students brainstormed attributes professional athletes share. Physical strength – passionate – motivated – ability to overcome injuries and poor results – confidence – belief in self – focused – ability to overcome pressures – and mental strength were the stand-out characteristics that students agreed an athlete at this level would need to be successful. Heads moved from right to left when asked if physical strength and skills specific to the sport were enough for an athlete to achieve the highest level in their sport. A student responded, “It’ll get them far, but an athlete that is hyper-focused and able to understand and control their mind and body will have an edge.”
Matt Ryan, Professional quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is no stranger to the pressures, distractions, and intense requirements of his mind and body to play football for the NFL. Matt uses a number of breath practices such as box breath and body scans to “help reset and quiet his mind." He says that these practices “settle his heart rate and clear his thoughts so he can focus on what he needs to do in the moment." Matt uses these practices throughout the day whether he is just waking up, is on the sidelines in between drives or after a game. See Matt Ryan's video message to Brookwood students!
Even if we are not professional athletes, we are all “performers” in our own space whether it be as a student, educator, parent, athlete, musician, artist, baker or simply a human. We can learn from people like Matt Ryan how these tools can make an impact and help us “get into a good headspace!”