15 Nov Environment Drives Experience (when allowed)
Sports and Outdoor Sports in particular have the ability to involve multiple senses. We prepare and practice by doing the actions we desire in competition, repeatedly, and the closer we perfect our form the more likely we produce desired results “unconsciously.” Sports like skiing, golf and sailing have potential to involve all 5 senses. Two benefits of involving one’s senses is the stimulation of the nervous system and the opening of awareness to one’s environment.
Awareness of forces and senses improves performance
1- Involving senses opens up multiple pathways for sensory input. Our awareness of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing expands our capacity to learn and in my opinion ability to reproduce “our repeated practices,” on demand. I am by no means a neurology specialist but I can say without question, conscious effort to recognize what our 5 senses are introduced to opens up pathways which can allow a higher level of performance. “Much higher.” I ask students to close their eyes and hear the sounds of the water, the feel of the sheet in hand, boat under foot and the tiller push or pull depending on any given moment of balance of the wind on sails vs water below. Results can be extraordinary. I have often seen a student almost immediately allow a boat to go visibly faster. You can only imagine
2- Associating sense of feel; a touch, sound (taste?) or a smell in particular to a performance can allow one more “access” to mentally visualizing and placing oneself in a performance one would like to repeat. Again, as a neurology laymen, I would contend that involving all 5 senses triggers an emotional involvement that is extremely powerful. Mastery of such can translate to much more than “Sports” and I know of no better place to do that than out on the water, sailing for practice, recreation or to tantalize the senses for a higher level of self awareness.
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