Since i am on a mental kick i will take another look at elite athletes and what makes them better than us.

I picked this up from Max while i was in California the first time and i think it is a very interesting observation. Take a look at the elite guys in any sport and you will notice that when they are at their peak performance they appear to be super relaxed. Their face is relaxed and their movement is fluid. They make the amazing things they do appear simple and effortlessly.

How does this transfer to performance? Physiologically i’m not sure. But if you think about it, tension starts in your face, travels to your shoulders, then your arms and hands. If you can’t see the tension in someones hands watch their shoulders or hands. Relax the face and the body will follow. Use the muscles you need and let the other ones chill. Making faces when you are training doesn’t make it any easier, in fact they probably make you feel like it is harder.

Think about it next time you are training. Take a big breath and relax your face. It will transfer to the rest of your body and you will perform better.
Enjoy the pictures of these relaxed athletes performing at the highest level in sport. Also don’t forget about the UEFA Cahmpions League final on May 27th in Rome!!


0 thoughts on “Chill…

  1. I agree with Brett, Fedor is the most impressive example of this.

    Man u – Barcelona, my 2 favourite teams but I’m afraid Man U is unstoppable !

  2. Great posts! I like this one best – it’s a lesson I learned recently, after attending the qualifiers here, to really relax during WODs. I had gotten so caught up in trying to set a PR every time, come in first (which never happens) or whatever, and I was getting more and more frustrated every time out. Logically, I know I can’t PR every day, but I was feeling like if I didn’t PR/come in first/etc., that somehow I had failed. I was so focused on the outcome that I not only was I not learning anything, my results were declining.

    The biggest lesson I learned from the qualifiers was just to enjoy the process and have fun. I agree completely with Spencer’s post yesterday or the day before where he was talking about how the elite athletes focus on performance during a WOD, not really worrying about the outcome. I’ve been trying hard the past couple of weeks to not worry about my time/weight/etc., and just have fun, enjoying the process, and a funny thing happened along the way.

    I PRd Grace in time and weight (95#, 6:43 I think).

    I did the third WOD from the qualifiers as Rxd, and got 6:48 – not too bad!

    My lifts have gotten better, and some of the other metcons weren’t so bad either. By relaxing and having fun, I made more progress in the outcome. Funny how that works.

    (I think relaxing your face is a brilliant strategy too – it works well in real life as well. Anytime I’m in class and stressed, I relax my face, and pretty soon, stress goes away…)

  3. There is also a competitive edge to chillin’. When you are competing with another person and they seem to be straining for every rep, every yard or whatever. And you are making the same progress in what seems like a relaxed manner. As time goes on, they get more frustrated and you can get more relaxed.

    They begin to question why this is so hard for them and easy for you.

  4. ¡Barça Barça Barça!

    I remember in “Mind Freak” in the Performance Menu, Aimee talked about all kinds of physiologic responses to being relaxed: circulation, flexibility and fluidity, etc.

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