Post By: Mark Cheney | Tuesday, May 5, 2020

sport psychology performance STRESS INTELLECTUAL FITNESS

Physical fitness is commonly defined as a measure of health and well-being. Specifically, it involves the ability to perform aspects of sport, occupations, and daily activities.A person who is fit has strength, speed, power, endurance, coordination, flexibility, mobility, agility, and balance.

I define intellectual fitness as the ability to think and act with reason, to solve hard, complex problems, and to react and adapt to a problem that has never been encountered before.The intellectually fit person thinks quickly, possesses intellectual stamina, and demonstrates psychological flexibility.

I think you can see the natural parallels between physical and intellectual fitness.I'd like to explore these further, as the path to physical fitness proves to be instructive in developing intellectual fitness.If physical fitness is generally achieved through proper nutrition, regular exercise, and sufficient rest and recovery, then it would follow that intellectual fitness could be achieved in a similar fashion. Let's take a look at what proper nutrition, regular mental exercise, and sufficient rest look like for the mind.

Mental nutrition – What are you putting into your brain? Is it junk food, like clickbait, gossip, controversy, and negativity?Or are you fueling for performance with wisdom and insight from great thinkers.Likewise, who do you associate with and how do they influence you? Computer programmers refer to the GIGO effect – garbage in, garbage out – to explain how bad input leads to bad output.I believe the same is true for our minds.

Mental exercise – Also known as mental conditioning, it involves training the mental skills and attributes necessary to be successful in any situation. Training the mental skills of breathing, self-talk, mental rehearsal, goal-setting, and reflection helps develop the mental strength, stamina, and flexibility to perform at a high level.As with strength and conditioning, mental conditioning requires a dedicated commitment to doing the work.While one workout might make you feel good, a strategic and progressive plan is necessary to achieve long-term growth.Training the mental skills requires the same approach over a long period of time.Remember, it's mental conditioning, not mental magic.

Rest and recovery – The smart athlete knows that sleep is a performance enhancing drug. Workouts break down muscle; sleep is when muscle grows.Sleep is essential for elite speed, power, and reaction time.Since all physical movement starts in the brain, you can imagine that sleep has a similar effect on intellectual fitness.Simply put, getting eight hours of sleep per night enhances memory, critical thinking, learning and emotional stability.Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can make you functionally equivalent to a DUI.

Abraham Lincoln famously said that the man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client.Knowing this truism, every great performer has utilized a coach or mentor to achieve elite performance.In fact, many high performers have a different coach for each of the technical, physical, and mental aspects of the game.At Mindurance, we provide sport performance enhancement articles , on demand performance coaching , and performance enhancement online courses that will support you to intellectual fitness and the performance you seek. With Mindurance's help, you'll develop the sound mind to go along with the sound body.