Today I want to talk about two different functions of your brain. Observing and thinking. We commonly learn and think at the same time, but if we break them down we can train our brain for peak performance. It goes something like this. Our observing brain usually comes first and makes us aware of things that are happening internally or in our environment. Such as an elevated heart rate or a defender standing in your way. Then almost immediately our thinking brain takes over, evaluates our observations, and helps us plan for our next steps, commonly called thoughts. An example of this is when our observing brain notices you are hungry and then our thinking brain starts planning for the next meal. Both the observing brain and the thinking brain are essential for survival. But research shows us that when we are in the zone and playing our very best that we aren’t thinking very much at all. We’re simply observing and reacting. So for this week’s mental training, I want you to practice using your observing brain and silencing our thinking brain. To do this, I challenge you to take a walk and simply observe your 5 senses as you walk. When the thinking brain takes over and the thoughts start flooding in, simply notice where your thoughts are and refocus on your observations. This will help us to train for our ability to quiet the thinking brain when we need it most and we’re trying to get in the zone. Enjoy your walk and remain Cavemen Ready!
Taylor Gabler is a Sports Performance Coach at Ball State University. She has volunteered to help Mishawaka student athletes stay “Cavemen Ready” during the pandemic of 2020. Gabler is Mishawaka’s all-time leading scorer for the Cavemen Basketball team. She played at Grand Valley State and is now finishing her education in the graduate program at Ball State.