Prokit 10: Mindset and Meditation
Many of the world’s best athletes, coaches and experts point to their mind as their greatest muscle. Whether through a daily meditation practice, journaling or routines to shift their mindset, pros increasingly recognize you need to train your mind with the same intention and focus as your body.
As part of our new Prokit 10 series, we’ll bring together ten insights in a theme from our deep-dive podcasts and expert interviews. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we all could use some support right now, so we’re starting with the mind.
1. “I meditate every day. I do a lot of things that center around the mental training…so that I can rise to the challenge of whatever comes at me and really stay present on just doing my best in the moment.” — Kate Courtney, World Champion Mountain Biker (@katecourtney)
2. “I’ll make sure that there are moments of mindfulness in my day where I stop everything I’m doing and just take 10 breaths. I try…to recognize how I am feeling right now…I ask myself questions that bring me into the present moment and make it real.” — Sonya Looney, Pro Mountain Biker and Entrepreneur (@sonyalooney)
3. “I think the important thing is to just do it…It can be as simple as sitting by yourself and drawing your attention to your breath. Pay attention to how your breath feels on the inside of your nostrils as it goes in and out. Don’t make it any more complicated than that.” — Rich Roll, ultra endurance athlete, author and podcast host (@richroll)
4. “By nature I’m an introvert, so I’m more comfortable being out in nature by myself…I need that kind of time just to go decompress, work things out. Running to me is a way to get away from it all and have time to think for yourself.” — Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man and best-selling author (@deankarnazes)
5. “The older I get, the more I’ve focused on my mind…I meditate every day now and journal, and work on the messages I give myself throughout the day…I say things to myself, even if I don’t believe them deep down yet. Someone has to believe in me, so I choose to.” — Anne Guzman, sports nutritionist and former pro cyclist (@anneguzman)
6. “Whether in running, business or anything else, there are moments that feel like the most immense failures, but that’s where the good stuff happens. That’s where you test the self belief you’re trying to build.” — David Roche and Dr. Megan Roche on Mindset and Overcoming Obstacles
7. “I wish I’d started off with more of a growth mindset. For too long, I just believed you’re either good at something or you’re not…I spent a lot of time not being nice to myself—just holding myself to unrealistic standards. That can become really toxic, so I think one of the biggest things was to see myself as a work in progress instead of just deeply flawed.” Sarah True, Olympian Triathlete (@sbtrue)
8. “One of the reasons I really love running is because you get out of it what you put into it. You can set goals and then over time, as long as you’re consistent and put in the work, those goals are achievable. I get a great sense of confidence and satisfaction when I achieve something…But all this time what’s been most rewarding is not necessarily winning, but knowing that I put in all of this really hard work…if I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I can do anything.” YiOu Wang, Pro Ultrarunner (@yiouwang)
9. “I think it’s important to enjoy the experience to the best of your ability. Enjoying the moment for me might be going for the win, or it might be riding back in the party bus with my friends and stopping to take photos. I like to check in with myself and ask if I am having fun. If the answer is no, then I need to adjust my perspective and remember why I am there.” Alison Tetrick, Queen of Gravel Cycling (@amtetrick)
10. “I get to know the athletes as more than just athletes…if their personal or professional situation isn’t allowing them to do the type of training they need to do to get where they want to go, then we’ve got to figure that out. The only way you can understand these things is by talking to people frequently and on a deep level. I’ve always just been a curious person, and the coaching I do is very personal.” — Mario Fraioli, Runner, Coach and Podcaster (@mariofraioli)
Mindset and Mediation Resources
- For more on meditation and mindset, head to our mind section on Prokit, or one of our most recent interviews with coaches Dr. Megan Roche and David Roche on Finding Your Why.
- For our podcasts, visit The Common Threads wherever you listen, or on Prokit @commonthreads.
- Journaling. @richroll recommends The Artist’s Way, “which is a program in a book written by Julia Cameron, and it’s essentially a protocol for unlocking latent creativity. There’s a core set of tools, but the key one is Morning Pages, which is essentially journaling three pages every morning, free form, whatever’s on your mind, no agenda, no editing.”
- Apps. Headspace makes learning and practicing meditation simple and the audio classes are in bite-size 10, 15 or 20 minute increments so you can fit it in whenever you have a few minutes. People also like Calm for meditation and improving sleep, and some suggestThe Waking Up app, Insights Timer, and Ten Percent Happier.