Mindology for Athletes
The excitement an athlete feels when participating in a sport or activity is the release of adrenalin & the stress hormone cortisol into their circulatory system. Adrenalin, also known as epinephrine, is the body's response to the stress hormone, cortisol. At one point, centuries ago, the release of adrenals and the surge of cortisol may have made the difference between life and death. Our heightened senses prepared us to either fight or flee. It was a survival instinct that can be applied to athletic activities today.
The influx of adrenal release and cortisol surge is a welcomed effect when an athlete is about to do battle in the sporting arena. There's an increase of energy sent to the muscles and the muscles response is to boost their ability to react. There's an enhanced alertness brought about by an arousal of the central nervous system. The body begins to sweat more, in preparation to cool the muscles and the pupils dilate in an effort to take in more of the surroundings. The athlete is now ready
When cortisol is activated and adrenalin is released into the bloodstream, both invariably find their way to the heart. The heart, upon feeling the presence of cortisol and increase in adrenalin, immediately boosts the rate and strength of its beating. The result is an increase in blood pressure, which, in turn, allows for an increase in respiratory exchange, making more oxygen available for the working muscles. The more oxygen available, the better the performance.
For every five minutes of a cortisol surge, the cortisol remains in the body for twelve hours. Unfortunately, if the athlete has not learned how to control this hormonal flow of adrenalin and surge of cortisol, post-competition, it could have negative effects on emotional and mental stability. additionally, if the activating and release of cortisol and adrenalin happens more frequently than it should, the result is a suppressed immune system and a propensity towards violent behaviors - all of which could impede the athlete’s performance.
The athlete that is better able to direct their energy properly, is usually the athlete that experiences victory. It's not enough to feel the adrenalin AND cortisol surging through your body -- it's equally important to control the adrenal response and cortisol surge (pre, during and post-game) in such a way that these hormones are neutralized and therefore producing the best results for all concerned.
One of the most effective ways of controlling the direction of this energy is to activate the Stanford Medical School of medicine and NASA utilized institute of Heart Math, “Heart’s Intelligence” exercises and practices. Activating the Heart’s Intelligence is one of several, powerful, science-based techniques and methodologies offered during a 60 minute fun and effective Mindology Fitness class.