|Mantras and Self-Regulation|
When Southern Utah’s University's new basketball coach Robert Reid arrived, his team ranked 217th in free-throw percentage, lowest in their division nationwide.
During practice, Reid had his players develop a mantra before each free-shot – a three or four word phrase coupled with a deep breath for relaxation. He gave the example of “relaxed and smooth” when stepping up to the free-throw line, but emphasized that each player determine his own mantra. Additionally, he simulated game conditions by abruptly stopping a player in practice and asking him to shoot two free throws. Reid simulated the mindset of pressure in a game situation by suddenly stopping to shoot a free throw. If the player made the shot, he got to take a breather. If he missed, he had to sprint around the court.
In two years, the team was ranked number one in their division nationwide.
Mantras can be used in various situations to regulate states of mind, especially for emotional triggers that can instantly change a state of mind. Some of my clients who are pro athletes and actors have used it to get grounded and centered for their performance.
Mantras can both calm, as well as keep you from over-thinking in a high-pressure situation. Here’s a summary of creating and using a mantra:
And remember that having and using a mantra to regulate a state of mind can be very useful for the holidays in interactions with certain relatives.