I’ll start with a confession: a reflection on my own cluelessness and impatience.
In 2020, I had a foreign pitcher on my baseball team, Mike Wright. He was a “hustler” who danced to the cheers and kept his teammates’ spirits up in the dugout. But when he was on the mound and couldn’t get a pitch out, his emotions got the better of him. The nape of his neck would get raw, he’d put his glove to his mouth and scream, he’d circle the mound to cool off, and he’d draw smiley faces next to the pitcher’s mound. Sometimes people would say, “He’s about to fall apart.” Some would say, “He’s doing it because he doesn’t respect Korean baseball.” I was frustrated.
I was frustrated too. When he got in, I confronted him and said, “That makes you look weak, it belittles you.” He was confused and said, “I have days when I want to throw like nothing happened, but I can’t. I was taught by a counselor in the U.S. to let off steam, to change the mood for a while, even if it’s just for a short time, so how do I do that?” I remember his voice trembling.
He was using his own method of emotional control. It wasn’t always successful, but with the help of a counselor, a mental coach, he was aware of his condition. He was trying, but I had asked to meet with him to see if I could help, and I had just judged him: ‘You look weak.’ I was embarrassed by my rashness, and I felt sorry for the athlete. At the time, I thought it was a difference with Western culture: unlike us, where we emphasize normalcy, they thought emotions were expressed right away. Over time, I learned that there are many ways to feel, acknowledge, and regulate emotions. I also realize that I was more used to, and trained to, suppress and repress negative emotions.
I thought of Wright while watching Novak Djokovic, 36, who recently won the men’s singles title at the US Open. With his win, Djokovic became the first player in professional tennis history to win more major singles titles (24). With rivals like Federer and Nadal retiring from the game, Djokovic is still going strong, like “the longest-lasting battery.” If you watch his tennis, he frequently loses his temper and smashes his racket. For a man with such a short fuse, he is considered one of the most mentally tough players in the game.
We say a lot that “excitement ruins games (presentations, reports, conversations, relationships…)”. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the human mind isn’t always a calm lake. I tend to get upset and nervous a lot. I don’t know about you. It’s natural to get excited, because that’s who you are. It’s how you take it that allows you to move on and do what you need to do.
Meditation has been a big part of Djokovic’s success in shedding the maniacal label, and mindfulness often comes up in his interviews. According to meditation expert Bumjin Kim, CEO of NowCoaching, “Mindfulness meditation is different from focusing on a single topic or concept. It starts with deeply observing the many phenomena of change, thoughts and emotions coming and going,” he explains. Understanding and letting go of what changes are happening within you through observation is the key to mindfulness. “It’s not about attaching yourself to the mind, it’s about de-identifying with it,” Kim explains. It’s not “I=what=emotion.” I am something bigger. 온라인카지노
One way to do this is to create your own rituals. Whether it’s yelling or writing something down, it’s a way to release pressure from your body. Djokovic has been known to take time out during a match to go to the bathroom, and he does this by looking in the mirror. It’s actually one of his 10 routines featured on the BBC.
Another way is to name certain emotions. It allows you to separate yourself from the emotion. With observation and training, you’ll recognize them when they start to smoke, rather than after they’ve set your mind on fire. Of course, some rituals are harder to do in teams and organizations. They require understanding and consideration from those around you. I need to reach out to Wright and tell him I’m sorry about that.