Well, times have changed and like many weekend warriors, I am just now trying to get back into working out again with a goal of pulling on the boots and getting back on the pitch “one more time” this May at Maggotfest in Montana.
I am excited about the prospect, but honestly, I have found it hard not only to a) find the time to work out but b) once I’m in the workout to 100% focus on what I am doing as my mind tends to wander off to the 100 other things I could be doing.
So, when this article about Mental training for rugby came up on my feed, it hit so close to home. I knew I had to share it with you all.
What Is Mental Training For Rugby?
It’s not complicated, it’s not religious, it’s not spiritual, and anyone can do it. It’s just what we said above: you practice focusing so you can focus better.
The most research is behind “single point focus,” meaning you try your best to spend ten to twenty minutes thinking about just one thing. And just like spending ten to twenty minutes training a body part eventually makes it stronger outside of the workout, intensely training your focus improves your ability to focus throughout the day. It’s a workout for your mind — the part of your body that’s responsible for your performance.
Mental Training for Rugby is a fundamental part of your physical training that many people ignore.
We don’t want to overcomplicate it. For most people, it’s shutting your eyes and focusing on the sensation of breath entering and leaving your nostrils. It sounds easy, but the first time anybody tries it, they quickly find their thoughts wandering to what’s for dinner, what they did yesterday, what they’re doing tomorrow, and so on. So it’s simple, but not easy.
Practice Makes Progress
Again, it’s an awful lot like working out. If you’ve never done it before or you haven’t done it in years, it’s uncomfortable, unenjoyable, and it feels like you’re not getting any benefit from it. But if you stick with the discomfort for a few weeks it gets easier. It gets more pleasant. You can do it for longer and you notice the benefits creeping into your day.
We won’t pretend this article is a complete guide to how to practice focus. The crux of it was described above. Just close your eyes and focus on the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your nostrils. Do it for ten to twenty minutes once or twice a day. It will be hard, then it will be easier.
Your Mind Will Wander
The most important thing is to not get upset with yourself when the mind wanders. (Noticing your mind has wandered is noticing your thoughts, so you could think of it as a victory.) Remember, it’s about non-judgmentally paying attention to the thoughts that come through your head. It can be helpful to think of your mind trying to focus like a baby trying to learn to hold something, like a pen. You don’t yell at the baby for dropping it, you gently encourage her to try again.
There’s An APP For That
To start doing mental training for rugby use apps like Headspace and Calm. They can make it a lot easier. There are ‘coaches’ in your ear helping you stay focused. Look for them on the App Store.
Over To You
What mental traing for rugby tips help you or that have been beneficial to your child athlete? Share them with us in the comments below. We would love hear from you.