What is the key to athletic success? What do the world’s greatest athletes do differently? According to American tai chi champion Josh Waitzkin, when it comes to competing in the top league, it’s not skill or technical mastery that makes an athlete stand out—it is creativity. Your creativity is a unique asset—just like every musician makes their own music, you’ll express your skill in a way unique to you. Here’s how to find your creative style as an athlete.
Why is proper form so important? How do you train yourself to maintain the correct form without constantly thinking about it? When you are learning a new move, it’s important to practice it with proper form from the get-go. If you practice with improper form, you don’t just risk injury, but also make it harder to retrain yourself as your body gets used to an incorrect form. Here’s how to learn the proper form for any move or exercise.
How do athletes achieve peak performance states? What are the two ingredients required to reach your peak performance? According to Joshua Waitzkin, the key to performing at your peak is to refine your skills until they flow seamlessly, intuitively, and effortlessly. Once you’ve reached such technical automaticity, you’ll be able to access enhanced perception as your brain will be able to process more information with less effort. Learn about the two ingredients for enhanced perception, according to Josh Waitzkin.
What Can’t Hurt Me challenges does David Goggins propose to his readers? Could completing these challenges help you reach your own goals? In his book Can’t Hurt Me, former Navy SEAL and ultra-racer David Goggins presents ten challenges to his readers. The goal of these challenges is to help you work efficiently towards your goals and overcome obstacles in your life. Here are David Goggins’s ten challenges.
Who were the Samurai and what was their job? Do the Japanese Samurai still exist? The Samurai were the warriors of premodern Japan whose role was to defend territories and fight enemies of the authorities. While the Samurai have ceased to exist as an active force, samurai principles still apply to some modern martial arts contexts. In his book The Book of Five Rings (The Wind Book), Miyamoto Musashi highlights two such principles: know your competitor and use skill over strength. Here’s how the samurai principles apply to the modern-day.
Have you ever been “in the zone”? Is there a way to enter the performance state on demand? In his book, The Art of Learning, American chess player and tai chi champion Joshua Waitzkin explains how to get in the zone and activate peak performance states. The key, he says, is to use “triggers.” Think of this trigger as an on/off switch that instantly activates your competitive spirit. Here’s how to use triggers to enter the zone of high performance.
How do you read your opponent in a fight or a competition? What signals can help decipher their intended actions? At the highest level, competition takes place on the psychological battlefield. To win, you have to learn how to read your opponent and exploit the chinks in their mental armor. This is especially true when you’re evenly matched in technique. Here’s how to read your opponent, according to American chess player Josh Waitzkin.
How can mindfulness help you become a better athlete? Can practicing mindfulness improve sports performance? To excel in sports, you need to maintain an emotional state that allows for confident, uninhibited performance. If you have any mental or emotional conflicts, you can’t access peak performance states. Mindfulness can help you achieve that by training you to remain unperturbed in the face of distractions and emotional turbulence. Learn about the benefits of mindfulness in sports.
Can practice override innate ability? What role does practice play in sports performance? While practice alone cannot determine outcomes in sports (there’s also a strong genetic component), its importance cannot be underestimated. Practice builds sport-specific wisdom, allows you to react quickly, and makes you “unconsciously competent.” Keep reading to learn about the importance of practice in sports success.
Is there such a thing as natural athleticism? What is more important when it comes to sports performance—practice or innate ability? Different sports place different demands on the human body. Sprinters need to be fast. Soccer players need to be coordinated. Most people’s mental model of a female gymnast would be of someone small in stature, while our mental model of a basketball player is likely tall. We can train our bodies to be the best they can be at a sport, but no amount of training can override natural athleticism. Keep reading to learn about natural athleticism and where