Borussia Dortmund football player Erling Haaland knows all about the big benefits of meditation for football players (or “soccer” players, if you’re in the U.S.). Haaland keeps scoring goals, most recently as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Haaland is very calm for a football player is currently on fire. There’s a reason for that. The 19-year-old footballer uses meditation to relax his mind. He was even seen celebrating a goal by sitting in meditation pose, a very contrasting celebration in a game more known for outlandish celebrations.
It seems Haaland knows what meditation gives football players.
Meditation is essentially the practice of focusing our consciousness on one thing. It is a health practice that is becoming incredibly popular. And although it is more often associated with stress, anxiety and mental health problems, meditation is also very beneficial for athletes.
TSN called Haaland’s pose “Almost absurd”. But in actual fact, there are plenty of reasons for footballers to meditate.
5 Huge benefits of meditation for football players
There are some seriously impressive, scientifically proven benefits of meditating.
Just consider these benefits of meditation for football players.
1: Meditation helps footballers react faster: Many times, in football the difference between scoring a goal and missing is your reaction times. When a quit pass comes in, you need to be able to react fast in order to hit an accurate strike. Meditation improves reaction times to help you kick the ball. It does this by relaxing the mind, so we are more aware of the present moment. Meditating before a football match will improve your reaction times for the entire match (especially if you also do a quick meditation at half time).
2: Meditation helps football players kick the ball more accurately: If you’ve been trying to improve your shot accuracy, meditation can help. Meditation makes us more aware of the body. It does this by heightening consciousness. When you are more aware of your body you are more able to move it accurately, and this in turn helps you kick the ball more accurately.
3: Meditation improves your football strategy: When you’re playing football (or “soccer”) you’re constantly making strategic decisions: Where to move next, how to interpret opponents’ moves, who to pass the ball to… there is quite a lot of cognitive processing that goes into playing football / soccer. Meditation improves cognitive functioning, so you are more able to make decisions on the move. It also improves decision making, so you make the best decisions during the game.
4: Improved oxygen consumption for better stamina: Do you ever feel tired playing football? If so, it might be something to do with oxygen consumption. This is the rate at which the body consumes oxygen. It is important for fitness because your muscles constantly need oxygen in order to stop fatigue. Meditation improves oxygen consumption, so you get less tired when you play football.
5: Makes you more confident when you play: When you play football, you want to feel confident. You want that Ronaldo style confidence where you are always one step ahead and always in control. Meditation improves confidence and self belief, so you feel more positive when you play.
These are just a handful of the reasons for football players to get meditating. Meditation not only helps you to be fitter, it also helps you to make better decisions and to be more confident when you play. And that’s why Erling Haaland’s meditation goal-celebration makes perfect sense.
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Paul Harrison is a passionate meditation teacher who believes in genuine, authentic meditation. He has more than 15 years experience in meditation and mindfulness. He studied meditation in beautiful Oxford, UK, and Hamilton Ontario Canada, and earned his degree at Staffordshire University.
“My goal is to provide the most authentic meditation sessions so you can harness the power of your own mind for personal transformation” – Paul Harrison