Mindfulness with PV Sindhu and Thomas Rohler 

The javelin champion and badminton silver medallist from Rio 2016 show how to use mindfulness to maximise your performance.

Mindfulness is one of the three key techniques which make up the Olympic State of Mind, the Bridgestone Olympic Channel experience which helps you be the best version of yourself.

But what is it?

According to the Collins' English Dictionary, mindfulness is "a way of training your mind to concentrate on the present, in order to feel calm and improve your mental state".

It can certainly help an athlete to shut out distractions and focus one's attentions on matters at hand.

Athletics - Thomas Rohler

While athletes like Australian swimming sensation Ariarne Titmus use music to help motivate them before competition, others take a more mindful approach.

One of those is Rio 2016 javelin champion Thomas Rohler.

He says, "When it comes to preparing for a competition, I actually don't use music. For me, the surroundings are very important and I always want to have a good feeling of the situation where I am in the stadium and it starts at the warm-up track.

"I'm one of the athletes that's not using music in the warm-up just because I want to stay mentally super-clear in the surroundings of the competition venue."

The German is also pretty laidback when it comes to having good days and bad.

He believes mindfulness stems from experience, helping him to remain calm and safe in the knowledge that better things are around the corner.

"Turning negative thoughts into something positive is something you learn over the years because in training it's so normal to fail. As an athlete, you don't wake up every morning being the perfect version of yourself.

"You know that it's actually a good thing if you're feeling mentally exhausted, if you're physically exhausted. We know these situations. We know that it's going to be better the next day or the week after or actually a year after - some processes in sport take so long. It's just experience."

Badminton - PV Sindhu

For PV Sindhu, mindfulness has helped her reach her goals.

The Indian shuttler had been the perennial bridesmaid in major tournaments with a silver medal at Rio 2016 followed by two defeats in the final of the World Championships.

But she took up meditation in mid-2019 and within weeks, she had beaten her final hoodoo and clinched her first world title in Basel.

Sindhu said, "We need to be both mentally and physically strong. I would rate it as 50-50, equally important.

"Imagine when you are down or when you tend to lose points. That is when you need your mental strength. I've been working on that - I've started doing meditation which keeps me calm and composed. That is very important during a match. You shouldn't get distracted, you have to be there focused all the time.

"I really enjoy it. I used to just have a vision of my game before but I never meditated as such."

"It can be anytime in the morning or in the afternoon, whenever I have time. For me, mindfulness is when you think something in your mind, you have to just go with it."

Experience mindfulness with Olympic State of Mind

The Olympic State of Mind experience is live on Olympic Channel and features fellow Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors Allyson Felix, Jordan Burroughs, Ai Ueda and Ariarne Titmus.

There are video clips to help your journey through motivation, mindfulness, and visualisation, plus a special edition of the Olympic Channel Podcast.

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