athletes who understand “flow state” will likely appreciate the importance of stress management during and after training. they understand the importance of being able to clearly process information during training. an athlete’s superpower is having the ability to connect the mind with body so it can synergistically identify small mechanical and strategic adjustments. when the mind-body is in a reactive state during training, it’s more difficult to stay connected and recognize improvement opportunities . mental and physical stress will choke the connection between your thinking upper brain and reactive lower brain (reactive by design), giving more authority to your emotion-ruled limbic system. maintaining a strong connection between the higher and lower brain is necessary for learning, optimal performance, and overall success in any athletics and life itself.
when you have a highly successful session, can you identify why it was successful? can you recall the finer points of your movement and mental state? can you do the same for your failures? if your lower brain is in control, it's difficult to make sense of your training, successes, and failures. emotions get in the way, and reactivity becomes prevalent. maintaining that connection between mind and body with cerebral control is key. whatever you’re training for, whether it’s sprinting, boxing, grappling, swimming or powerlifting - if you have that control, it can be one of the most powerful ways to optimize training & performance.
acute stress can be a healthy motivator, but if you can’t intentionally identify improvement opportunities, learning is seriously limited. informed upper brain training is a part of intentional programming. when it’s time to compete, those programs are triggered reactively (sometimes described as muscle memory). if you can remain calm and composed in training, there is more bandwidth for mental development and connection to the body. if you’re amped up and stressed during training or competition, you’re burning mental and physical energy at a much higher rate. working harder, not smarter. adrenaline is an amazing tool to call on when necessary, but uncontrolled adrenaline & cortisol release will drain your energy significantly faster. cbd and other herbal modulators can help maintain this balance.they keep the mind-body out of the erratic, high-stress state during training and the connection between the lower and upper brain open.