BIOFEEDBACK AND SPORTS
Man or Superman?
The speculation in sports, whether body can be fortified by the powers of mind so as to perform better is diachronic. Man always had the need to perform aided by two mechanisms instead of one.
If you are an athlete set on the starting block of the track waiting for the starter’s fire pistol to go off, focused on exploding to the race fractions of a second after the signal to go after the gold medal, imagine what disaster may strike you if a cognitive type of stress overpowers you at that crucial moment.
Since was scientifically evidenced that the mind, in cooperation with psychic processes, is capable of either disorganizing or “boosting” your body, you have no other option but to find the way to do the latter.
Body alone, or soul and body?
Nowadays, is accepted as unequivocal truth that the way an athlete thinks, the ability to relax, the capacity to modulate the arousal level of his nervous system, the capability to concentrate and self-confidence form quite determinant factors for his/her performance.
Researches proved that indeed via biofeedback training athletes succeeded to lower breathing rate and limit “puffing” to a significant extent. At the same time they regulated cardiac rate within certain range, adjusting it to more beneficial levels for the type of sport they were engaged in.
In this research the athletes who received information on their heart rate via biofeedback had by 22% less heart beats per minute relative to control subjects, the athletes who did not receive biofeedback training. Additionally, those in the biofeedback team used oxygen by 6% lower rate and reduced lungs ventilation by 14%, although the actual intensity of the exercise was the same in both teams. To sports experts such changes in figures are spectacular.
Biofeedback applications in sports have increased nowadays in geometrical progression. Estimates are that since 1970, when biofeedback was first introduced in sports, more than 30,000 Olympic game athletes have been trained in this method.
Bruno DeMichelis, head of sports science of AC Milan football team, declared that the capacity of biofeedback devices to monitor muscular activity coupled with the psychological preparation these provide “helped us reduce injuries by 90% and taught our athletes how to enter a somatic and psychomental state that promotes peak performances”.
Progressive muscular relaxation and biofeedback training, besides increasing the flexibility of muscles, also improve movement plasticity and speed up the release of tension after maximum effort.
Do not forget muscle sense
The muscular sense you gain via biofeedback training helps you utilize your muscles in a correct, more sensible and balanced manner. It gives movement agility, plasticity and harmony. This is a key factor for any type of sport. Concurrently, is avoided the phenomenon of dysponesis, which raises needless tension in muscle groups not involved in the movement, thus, also energy is economized. These advantages significantly lower the odds for injures, a valuable asset especially in case you are a professional athlete.
Peter Kledzos, of Greek origin, the oldest living Olympic champion refers to the pole vault saying: “Whether one uses a bamboo pole or a modern Kevlar pole, mental resilience remains in our days as important as it was always”.
Luke Behncke, of Melbourne University, in an extensive study published in the Athletic Insight journal, refers to the necessity of mental training which enable an athlete to stabilize and augment his/her performanve.
The capacity of an athlete to control mind and emotions, besides promoting performance, builds the foundations for increased self-confidence and well-being. (Boys & Zenong 1999).
Each time you want to unleash the maximum of your potential and abilities for top performance, without wearing out or causing irreparable damage to your organism, biofeedback is the natural and scientific tool for you.
Even the strongest doping is incapable of being effective, if you do not control the mechanism of your psychomental participation in the effort.
You have in your possession a body with immense abilities of which you may not be cognizant. Exploit your abilities and put two turbo machines in your effort, the somatic and the psychomental.