“I have been trained, it’s good, it has to go. Calm down, you can do it.“This or similar internal dialogue is usually chasing our heads when we wait impatiently for the referee’s order, the whistle, the rivalry, or other start of the competition that we are directly involved in. No matter how much we calm down, the yesterday’s distance and horizon is gone. We have a good time in front of our already pre-match interview with the coach: “If you play carefully and defensively, you will not help yourself and you will eventually lose. As well as training, you’re not afraid of that. make-up and leave a piece of yourself there,” the same sentences are repeated all the time. But how the hell I do when the match has not started yet and I feel like I have one match today. We went over half the world and today we decide whether to go home empty again, and I will explain my incompetence again. I’d love to win too much. That responsibility is so binding. I often wonder if it would be better to leave everything and find some “normal” job ..? I’m nervous about the whole body.

“Let it be for me.” So we would name our feelings if we were to answer honestly how we feel right now. “But we could do nothing to compete. We could not do anything. The pressure is one of life.” We would soon have apologized to the previous line of the text why we voluntarily undergo something that does not prove well to us. “So where is the truth? Is pressure and the stress that comes from it beneficial to our lives?” Perhaps it would be worth asking this question from the other side:

“Why do we perceive certain situations as pressure? Why anyone in the same situation can be relaxed and the other is quite stiff by stress?”

The answer is very simple and yet extremely complex. Because each of us has a different relationship between our subconscious and the associated level of stress that the situation in our country activates through our subconscious.


What is the difference between a “conscious act” and “subconsciously react?”

On the theme of consciousness and unconsciousness, there is a lot of professional literature today. The notion of knowingly acting has certainly been heard many times. I believe we all at least marginally understand the meaning of this connection, but I will try to explain it once again with my words.

The scientific literature states that human consciousness reaches a maximum of 5-10% of our brain capacity. Nowadays, automation, computers, googles, and social networks, where one does not need to generate energy for obtaining and evaluating information, shrinks considerably. Recently, I have read a statement from a recognized clinical psychologist that most of us use the brain consciously to less than 2%. What does it mean? Would you believe, for example, that our brain as such remembers from our birth everything we have experienced? Everything he has experienced in his life is stored in it in the form of memories and pictures. And why not get rid of it? Because we have access to just about 5-10% of our content, we can consciously work with this amount of data and information. The rest is stored in our subconscious, which we do not have access to under “normal” conditions. When I turn these facts into practical significance for our lives, and for the sake of simplicity, I will stay with 10% (and I’m exaggerating), it would mean that on average only one tenth of what we do every day is done consciously and therefore able to control.



The concept of “knowingly acting” in more detail

Whoever plays chess can imagine what the principle of this game is. I ask the question: “How many forward chess movers are planning their moves? Two, three, four, five or more? But what does it mean to plan in chess?” This does not mean to deal only with itself, but to include in its plan the possible moves of the opponent. At every turn, we must also anticipate the opponent’s opposition. The result is that I expect a specific response from my opponent to the situation I have created, and all possible variants of his move are acceptable to me. So my opponent’s moves can not surprise me. So I’m not even afraid of them and I do not mind. That is why I also have nothing to cause stress.

If I manage to control the game, I can say that I dictate the pace of the game at my own discretion, or I deliberately act. If, moreover, I start the game white and I have the right to move first - I act and the black reacts. In the course of the game, the more the game is coming to its end, the less time I have on my moves, the less room for decision making. This also raises the chances that something may surprise me, because I can not fully understand the situation. And because I am aware of the gradual loss of conscious control, whether I want to or do not, subconscious stress will begin to occur. In the end, the game is so fast that my conscious action goes all the way and all the action will take over the automatisms of my subconscious.

Likewise, it works in top sport. The faster the game is, the less time and space the athletes are aware of in the game. Fearfully this is true in phases of play such as an extension or tiebreak. Only the Chessmen do not give their energy to think and move hands to switch the timer, but the vast majority of energy consumes their body for physical performance. From this perspective, it is almost impossible to think of the 5 moves of the opponent forward as a chess player. But it is not even necessary. Imagine how a slight increase in the player’s ability to predict the opponent’s hand, to capture the side of the attack, or to capture the pass by observing things that others do not see, and the ability to evaluate the situation by considering a step forward is just the difference nowadays, which makes the quality player the excellent one.

The mysterious word “Flow”

Everyone who watches at least a little bit of sport often noticed the moments of the game, when one team suddenly gets “on the waves” and starts playing visibly to the opponent. The players in the team are suddenly all the way to one step, as if they knew each other without looking at each other, from the entrances to the maximum feeling and ideal timing. Just what the players are reaching for, it comes out to them. These moments often end with a goal or at least an extreme expense of the opponents’ forces. A classic viewer calls it a game of play and he likes the game because it has a great deal of attraction for him. It’s understandable because it is just looking at something that is related to the law of conservation of energy and what experts call “Flow”.

This almost mysterious phenomenon is nothing short of exaggeration, unless our consciousness and unconsciousness unite our forces and focus our energy outlets in the same direction. In order to add another part of the puzzle, we need to deeper, yet still practically understand, what role sports play in our brain and how it affects stress. I will deal with this topic in the next chapter.

public sport Publications / Blog of Radim Valigura

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