T Nation

MIND/ Body Connection

Did anybody watch The Learning Channel last night. The had this great show that dealt with the mind body connection. The showed these buddist monks that could perform amazing feats after meditating. Cancer patients who were able to marshall there white blood cells to combat inoperable cancer. It is amazing what the mind can do.

A reoccuring theme throughout history. I often quote 19th century Prussian military leader, Karl Von Clausewitz stated “human will is indefensible”.

In faith, Coach Davies

Could you expand on how you utilize this or where we could read more about it?

I think they started writing about this stuff in the … Bible. hahahahahah. Sorry guys, couldn’t resist. Crash, there are lots of modern day sources. Some mainstream authors are Deepok Chopra, Dr. Bernie Siegal (cancer surgeon), Louise L. Hay (cured herself of cancer) , Andrew Weil MD, Deepok Chopra and Ernest Holmes. It’s a facinating subject. Enjoy.

as the quote read and what I have said on a few posts, there is so much talk of sets & reps but little of human will, the insatiable desire to overcome adversity. The greatest skill a coach can impart on an athlete is that refusal to lose. I have written large articles for clients on this so it is hard to summarize but if you want to talk more, I am here as always,
In faith,
Coach Davies

Coach Davies is right. Most people in this forum train their body, but probably not many train their mind. This is just as important because out of your mind comes the day-to-day choices and decisions that powerfully effect every area of your life. An easy, eye-opening, mostly non-religious primer would be “The Power of Decision” by Raymond Charles Barker. You’ll realize how many habitual wishy-washy choices you make everyday simply because that’s the way your subconscience mind has been trained. Like…“I’ll go to the gym and TRY to have my best workout” or “I’ll eat better today” or “maybe this tendonitus will clear up this week” or “someday, I’ll be able to afford a bigger house”. Sounds harmless, but these are actually very weak-willed choices being made, similar to a weak muscle never getting exercised.

I’d love you to expand on this. Let’s start with how you would begin to teach this to a new athlete, particularly a young athlete who could be frightened away.

i think the mind is the missing factor in sports. I just started cheerleading, but i still have a football players mentality. We have to do toss shoulders where the girls stand on your shoulders for up to five minutes at a time. During this time girls are being thrown up and the girls standing on the shoulders catch her. So your holding one and a half girls on your shoulders. It is extremely taxing but i take it better than most. I tell myself to show no signs of discomfort. I dont want them to know it hurts. Then it becomes easier. You can always do more than you think. Always remember that. so when youve gone as much as you can go, go farther.

Ian KIng has written about this either in his articles or in the q&a. He says that one of the worst things people can do is think things like ‘aw that sure looks heavy’ or ‘I wonder if the spotters will be quick enough’. If you think things like that, it doesn’t matter what’s on the bar, you won’t lift it. When I was rowing, visualizing was really in style. I remember before a race my crew & I got together & went through the race plan & imagined being out on the water, etc. We were all juniors, two of us novice (hadn’t finished 1st season), & with a replacement who weighed only 135lbs. We raced the local university @ their regatta on their course & won just because we believed we could (it hurt like hell though).

Forgive me if this sounds off topic but I just wanted to show you that there is some support for this sort of thing in physics. I studied this kind of thing quite a bit in school. I have a degree in Philosophy with a concentration in the philosophy of physics primarily Quantum Mechanics. Essentially, what the Standard (Copenhagen) Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics states is that nothing really exists until it is observed or measured. In other words until something is percieved there is no fact of the matter as to whether or not it exists. A classic example is the moon is not really there if no one looks. This bothered Einstein quite a bit, which is one of the reasons why he could not except Quantum Theory; however, since his death experiments have proven its validity. The fact remains that if one is to believe that Quantum Mechanics is correct, which it has never been wrong; however, it does predict in probabilities only since nothing is concrete, it is on the actual probabilities on which it is never wrong, then one must admit there is something odd going on. Most physicists believe in the standard interpretation, but they do not take into account the philosophical consequences of this interpretation, which is namely what I have spelled out above. They simply use it as a predictive tool, and don’t care what the theory actually means. BTW, this problem outlined above is called the measurement problem, for those that are interested. One of the other most popular interpretations is the Pilot-wave theory, popularized by the late physicist David Bohm. In this approach everything is really one thing called the implicate order, whereas what we normally see is the explicate order. Much akin to Yoda’s idea of the force. All of these things have a very Eastern philosophical type of feel to them. This is actually my passion and I was going to go to grad school for this in the fall; however, I ran into financial difficulties and have had to postpone this and get into computers instead.

Natey - PLEASE EXPAND - I tell this to young athletes all the time. Goldberg is deadone with a topic that requires finite detail as his partner depends health depends on it.
In faith,
Coach Davies

So, If in the universe there are only a scant few basic elements
of which we are comprised , what makes a tree a tree and Steve, Steve?
(Joey Z.)

Steve, your acceptance of not being able to continue w/ your philosophical interests, because of financial difficulties, is only an illusion as well? If you could ‘accept’ that you can afford to go, maybe the opportunities will arise?

Right now I’m just hoping to make a decent living with computer (taking the Cisco path), and then after saving up some then going back grad school. After all GRE scores are good for five years. The problem is with philosophy there really aren’t night classes. So I’d have to have a very flexible schedule. Especially since very few grad schools have programs in which you can specialize in the philosophy of physics. Of course, you never know, I may end up liking networking very much too. I really just didn’t want to have to deal with going to school another five or six years to get my doctorate only to come out searching for a job as a professor. As the call for philosophy professors isn’t too high. I’ve heard many a horror stories from profs. about this. Getting tenure is very difficult and you have to be willing to move where ever there is a school tht will hire you. So we would be talking about a good ten years before I’d finally be able to live decently with money. I had to awaken to the philosophy of pragmatism. I have certain needs and wants some of which could have been met by grad school, others which could not. For example, I would have to give up all supplements including protein. My diet would have to consist of very cheap crappy foods. Consequently, I wouldn’t be a T-man anymore. I would probably get fat, lose muscle if I even had time to lift. TAs don’t get paid much, and I would need another job. That is just one example of what I would have to give up. I don’t want to give that up. I love bodybuilding. I also love my car. I know it sounds weird but I love to race, at the track of course. Though I do drive fast normally. I’m rambling on. Probably more than all of you wanted to know. But that is why I chose the path I did, it wasn’t easy. I just had to weight out the good and the bad with each and right now grad school just wasn’t the answer. Lastly, I would to have had to leave my girlfriend behind. Since I would have gone to school away from home and that would not have been easy.

As far as what makes a thing that thing is a very complex issue. There are many ways to address the issue. One could say it is form. Or you could say it is the matter of which the thing is composed. Or a combination of both. Now this is just for things. When you get into personal identity things get quite a bit more complicated. Such as do memories count, is it continuity of memory. I know it sounds like I’m skirting around the question. I think from the quantum mechanics standpoint, it is simply the extreme high probability that what is the tree or what is me (Steve), shall be that which obtains during the collapse of the wave-packet. In other words once a measurement is made the thing that results has a very high probability of being me or whatever, which is why there appears to be a continuity. However, there is nothing to rule out, mathematically, that all of a sudden the chair you are sitting on could dissappear and reappear somewhere else in the universe.

Coach Davies: UVic (Victoria) is the undisputed ruler of university rowing in Canada, so I crapped myself when I found out that my coach had us entered in a senior race against them, even though they were just a lightweight crew. A few weeks earlier there was a major indoor competition (on the machines) where our 2 lightweights went 1-2 in the junior lightweight event & I (heavy) had to get carried outside & couldn’t support myself for 15mins. I guess the coach thought we were tough enough to compete even if we weren’t as skilled. We had four guys (1 heavy/experienced<-me 1 heavy/novice 1 light/experienced 1 light/novice) who were noticably better/stronger than the rest, but one broke his wrists rollerblading, so we needed another guy to replace him. We used the next best guy who was still in his 1st yr & was a weak 135. Fast forward to the regatta. We had a race plan which was just a sort of checklist with strategy etc & we’d rehearsed it a little before but not very seriously. About 1.5hrs before the race, we sat on the shore in our seat order in line with our lane, so it was like being out there, & closed our eyes & our bow guy (who makes the calls) went over the plan while visualizing what it would be like on the water. We had a few different scenarios, like what if we were leading @ halfway or behind w/200m left, etc & went over those too. That took about half an hour and at the end, we didn’t say much to each other, but we all believed that we would come out on top, & it didn’t matter what it would take. Fast forward to the start line. Still the same feeling, good butterflies. So the race started & as usual the 1st 30 strokes went by fast I was suprised that we were still with UVic. The bow guy was sticking to the plan, like rehearsed, & the boat felt lighter & lighter as we went along. At halfway we were still neck & neck, so I started to think we actually had a chance. It was basically stroke-for-stroke for the last 400m (of 1900) so the bow called the final sprint a little early (by then I was pretty messed up) which didn’t put us very far ahead by the end, we only ended up winning by a foot (12inches), but it was enough for a win. The next crew crossed the line about 2 mins later which would have put them more than a 1/4 of the race course behind us. Just imagine how pissed off UVic was, w/all their tradition & all. After the race, of course we were the story of the regatta. Our coach said that even he didn’t expect us to win because we were using a sub, but we prepared so well, we couldn’t have lost.

Hi Guys,
I saw the TLC show too. The Study that the sports psychologist did was pretty damn interesting. One group did an exercise for their finger the other group just imagined doing the exercise. The exercise group improved by 30% the visualizing group improved by 16%. I agree that the mind plays a big part of successful weight training or what ever other goals you have.

Visualization might be the single greatest determinant in deciding between success and failure. This is a very “deep” topic and I do not wish to bore any of you - so please, if inform the old coach if you want to talk more of it. And Steve - I am an intense reader of quantum physics and I think you will find some extraordinary uses in sport for this area.In faith,Coach Davies

SPOON BOY, bending a spoon: “Your spoon does not bend because it is just that, a spoon. Mine bends because there really is no spoon, just my mind. Link yourself to the spoon. Become the spoon and bend yourself.”

MATRIX:  The movie. Original script. Larry and Andy Wachowski. April 8, 1996.

Hey Gang,
Check out Greg Branden’s stuff. Especially his book or tapes “The Lost Mode of Prayer”.

Hey coach…tell me with your experience…how do you overcome doubt in an athlete? I guess I have always felt the will to win was either there or not. In my MA I have always sparred bigger and or better than me in an attempt to get better (although this does mean you take your fair share off ass whoopings) However, I see students who always seek lesser ranks and or smaller opponents…and like to “bully” them. When I push them to attempt more advanced studets, they tend to back off quickly, and stick with their “smaller and weaker” opponents. Obviously, these students also tend to hide when the competition listings come out…and never compete. However they like to strut around like they are “big and bad” after tearing up some poor sap who has been in the MA for 3 months, and is 35 pounds lighter then they are. Now I could just be callous and write them off as useless, however I think this bullying behavior comes from their own doubt as a fighter. How do you overcome this issue with athletes you have come across who exibhit these traits?? I know in the MA they are unfortunatly too common, and my first tendency is to want go get them in the ring and give them a taste of their own medicine, however I know this is probably the wrong approcach. However watching these jerks strut around in their school jackets with their chests stuck out really annoys me because they are the antithisis of what the MA is all about. I realize at 31, I am probably old school, as compared to this generation…but how do you reach them and build up what I percieve as a lack of confidence? or is it even that? is it just todays generation?