Buddhism - Competition - TI
I happened to read an article yesterday on the compatibility of Buddhism and Competitive Athletics. I'm not sure who the author was, but it can be found on the thoughtshappen.net website. It talked about focus on the "now", albeit primarily in tennis, and "stay[ing] in the moment". I particularly liked a comment regarding the focussed way that Roger Federer conducts himself during matches:
"...for a bad shot the most the replay usually shows is a slow closing of both eyes, like he is closing it out of his mind. Which came first, I wonder, the Zen-like on-court serenity or his flawless playing?"
I was immediately struck by this comment and its similarities to TI. It seems to me a win-win situation for TI; which promotes a "Zen-like" serenity in the water and a "flawless" approach to the sport of swimming. In this way, TI would appear to be perfectly compatible with competition swimming.
I agree completely. Also thanks for for that website. I had never come across it.
I must keep stumbling across tennis articles, but I just read this regarding Arthur Ashe's famous Wimbledon victory over Jimmy Connors in 1975:
'During each changeover Ashe would close his eyes. Slowly, serenely, he would breathe through his nostrils in search of Zen-like calm.
"The press went crazy," remembers Dell. "Is he meditating? What's he thinking about? It must be a poem! But he was thinking about the things we had talked about, refreshing his memory."'
What struck me most here was the reference to 'refreshing his memory'. Again, this seems to me to be a very 'TI' approach to sport. I personally like to go through a few drills before I swim full-stroke; so I suppose this is a bit like refreshing my [muscle] memory before the main event. It would be nice to think that Ashe was mentally rehearsing his successful body and shot positions on court, as well as focussing on the 'now'. A little bit of calm before the storm can be wonderful thing!
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