Attaining Peak Performance using the Right Side of the Brain
One of the primary goals for attaining peak performance stems from the research reporting that the execution of sports activity involves shutting down the pre-frontal cortex of the brain to allow the motor cortex to work without interruption. This is a direct result of our understanding that the right side of the brain is for excellence in performance and the left is for analyzing pre-performance. Therefore, the athlete who continually is concentrating on what he/she should be doing is doomed to a less than excellent outcome. By shutting off the right side of the brain and assigning the total task to the left hemisphere the outcome is less than desired. To insure a winning performance mental pre-swim rehearsal is very important. By notifying the brain that certain approaches are to be used the need for analysis is nil. The brain can then focus its direct attention to the swimming itself, by passing the left brain and prefrontal cortex thus adding greatly to the “independence” of the brain to perform. This skill of redirecting the brain to develop better focus requires a definite learning curve.
Practice is the road to excellence. However, you must engage mentally as you swim, thinking about the stroke, allowing your mind/body connection to evaluate how you feel in the water. Stay within the boundaries of your motor memory skills by thinking positively about what you are doing. Be cognitive of any distractions, stay focused using positive self-talk to keep the flow of dopamine actively feeding your brain and muscles with support and motor memory.
To insure the control of the brainwave for upcoming responsibilities the use of binaural sound and light along with color are key. Make sure the swimmer that he/she is prepared for the competition. Knowing that a competitive swim is in the high alpha and low beta region allows for an approach that insures the swimmer that the brain is ready for the competition. Light and sound neurotechnology provides this training for the brain and prepares the athlete.
Redirecting attention has a definite step-by-step progression. From the frenzy of the meet and the anxious feelings that can accompany it, to a state of being in the “now” or the present, calm, engaged and ready to swim. Immediately after a race the ability to redirect attention is a skill to be learned. It becomes highly important to push yourself into the “NOW” forgetting what was just completed and attend to what is now. One approach to redirect attention for better focus involves looking forward to the next swim. Not thinking about your stroke, who is in the next lane or breathing. Shutting down the prefrontal cortex of the brain by becoming input directed establishes a structure for the brain that involves the motor cortex and allows the motor memory to use all learned previously. When you state a specific goal for your upcoming swim your brain will switch from the emotional limbic system to the goal directed motor memory of the motor cortex putting to work all the practice sessions and hours of work. This approach will “pay off”.
To establish a pre-swim routine you must stimulate your mind by:
1. Calculate consciously your goals for the present swim. This will signal your pre-frontal cortex that information is coming in to be used soon
2. By connecting your motor memory with your goals you control your muscles
3. Quieting any reflex involving “fear paralysis” will support your motor cortex concerning the upcoming swim
4. These actions will allow you to enter a peaceful state for the coming event
Even though color, sound and vibration are experienced by both the right and left hemispheres of the brain, the right benefits greatly from stimulation related to all of these. Playing music, listening to binaural sounds, experiencing frequency stimulation “messages” the right hemisphere creating a positive learning site to be used in competition. This allows the motor cortex the freedom to send the motor memory the skills learned during practice rounds.
Using the right side of the brain to win, works. To keep this hemisphere happy and ready to function it is necessary to keep positive attitudes, self-talk and affirmations readily available when the time comes. It is of utmost import to keep a positive attitude using supportive thoughts and enjoying the competition.