COYOTE 'S CHALLENGE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY
Stanley Krippner, PhD
The Pueblo Indians in New Mexico tell a story about Coyote, who, among all the animals, was the most eager to learn new tricks. It seems as if Coyote had met Rabbit who demonstrated a marvelous skill. Rabbit could make his eyes fly out of his head and land on a nearby branch, and then return to him. Coyote begged Rabbit to show him this trick and finally Rabbit agreed to do so. But Rabbit cautioned Coyote that he could only do so three times per day. It was not long before Coyote was flaunting his new ability. But one day he forgot Rabbit's warning and, after showing off for the fourth time, his eyes would not return to him.
Coyote ran around blind until Mouse felt sorry for him and gave Coyote one of his own eyes. But the eye was quite small and was difficult to see through. Buffalo also was sympathetic and gave Coyote one of his eyes, even though this one was quite large, allowing so much light to come through that it was hard to see through. So the challenge for Coyote was to balance his ability to use Mouse's eye -- the linear, narrow, focused view of a task -- along with Buffalo's eye which encompasses the whole picture. Once Coyote was able to master this task, he became an even better trickster than he had been before his misadventure.
Spotlight Mind, Floodlight Mind
Alan Watts, the philosopher who popularized Eastern wisdom in the United States, explored the powers of the human mind. What the Pueblo called “Mouse's Eye,” Watts referred to as “the spotlight mind,” and used the term "the floodlight mind" to describe “Buffalo's Eye.” When the mind acts like a spotlight, it focuses narrowly on the task at hand with little concern for the context, for its past history, or its future impact. The spotlight mind is the foundation of careful thought, detailed description, artistic technique, and intellectual discipline. But the price paid for using the spotlight is the failure to notice the relationships and unities between the bits and pieces. One can't examine all the possible bits, so people tend to notice only the significant bits that are relevant to certain pre-selected ends, such as social or financial advancement. This narrow focus excludes the possibility of being open to surprises and to those delightful experiences that come without being sought.
When the mind acts like a floodlight, the “whole picture” is envisioned, the task's relationship to past and future events is considered, and the details of an activity are secondary to the overall understanding of an event. The floodlight exposes ignored relationships and brings to light unsuspected details because we are looking at things rather than looking for things. Intense beauty and ecstatic pleasure are most easily revealed to the senses that are not seeking and straining; our senses are not muscles; to push them is to reduce their efficiency. According to Watts, the floodlight mind underlies experiences associated with the great world religions -- Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and some aspects of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.
The Dimensions of Focusing
In his book The Inner Athlete, R. M. Nideffer uses the terms "narrow focus" and "broad focus" to describe these two ways in which the mind of an athlete can direct its attention1. A golfer may find narrow focus more useful; a quarterback may prefer broad focus. Sportspersons with anxiety about their performance might be advised to focus narrowly on the task at hand, while their more confident peers might do better by focusing broadly, so as to obtain useful information about the competing player or team, the environment in which the performance is taking place, and the way that the behavior of the audience and the judge, referee, or umpire can contribute to the outcome.
Narrow focus (the spotlight mind) and broad focus (the floodlight mind) can be directed either internally or externally -- toward bodily feelings and sensations, or toward what is going on in the athlete's environment. There are practical lessons to be learned from this categorization of attention.
(1.) Internal narrow focus is optimal for learning to become sensitive to your own body. It is the type of attention required to center and to calm you, to rehearse a particular skill, or to "psyche" yourself up.
(2.) External narrow focus is required at the moment a response is required. Your attention must be narrowed and focused externally to throw a discus, to react to an opponent's move, or to catch a ball.
(3.) Internal broad focus is best used for analyzing complex sports situations, to visualize possible plays, to anticipate the future (e.g., the 2 on 1 break in hockey), or -- in team sports -- to comprehend how your moves will compliment those of your teammates. Mental imagery plays a key role in internal broad focus as does intuition and following your "hunches."
(4.) External broad focus is most useful for comprehending the "gestalt” or pattern of a specific sports event through the use of your senses. You can use it to pick up subtle clues about any opponent’s most likely moves, and to observe the overall pattern of an opposing team's potential plays2.
In addition, internal focus can be dissociated or present. If dissociated, an athlete's attention is not focused on the task at hand. In the case of pain, attention might be centered upon a pleasurable activity. During a race or swimming meet, attention might center upon the final goal. If internal focus is present, the athlete's attention is centered in the here and the now. If there is pain, the sportsperson acknowledges the pain. During a race, the runner or swimmer's attention focuses on each step, pace, or stroke. Some people claim that there are times when dissociated focus works best for them; others claim that they are at their best when they are completely present.
Iinternal focus that is present might take the form of sensations or symbols. In the case of sensations, attention is focused on one's actual physical processes -- the breath going in and out of the lungs, the legs and arms moving in tandem during a race, the grasp one has of a baseball bat or a golf club. In the case of symbols, attention is focused on a word or image that represents a physical process, feeling, or thought. The athlete might be repeating a phrase such as "Faster, faster, faster!" or an affirmation such as "My mind and body are working together in perfect coordination." Or an image might be the focus of attention as when the martial artist pictures her arm as a rod of iron, when the jockey imagines that his horse has wings, or when the rock climber fantasizes her feet have become magnets.
Present internal focus can be sensation-oriented or symbol-oriented as well. A swimmer experiencing pain might put his body on "remote control" while recalling a gourmet meal, a night of lovemaking, or a day on the beach -- all examples of sensations. Or he might resort to symbols and visualize a vacuum at the other end of the pool pulling him toward the goal by the sheer force of its suction. Conversely, he might imagine hearing his parents or friends shouting words of encouragement to him from the other end of the pool.
Just as Native American medicine men and women spoke of the "four directions" and the "four winds," your focus has four dimensions. It can be narrow or broad, internal or external, present or dissociated, substantial or symbolic. Think back to your most recent sport event or practice. How would you describe your attention on the basis of these four dimensions? Was it constant or did it fluctuate? If it fluctuated did the change of focus help or hinder your performance? By understanding your focus of attention, you can improve your performance and enhance your sports power.
The Motivational Bedrock
The Creek and Alabama Indians tell a story about Hummingbird being challenged by Crane to a race to the ocean. Overly confident, Hummingbird zipped ahead in daylight, but stopped at night to sleep. Crane, however, enthusiastically flapped along without sleeping and on the final night of they race, determined not to awaken Hummingbird, headed for higher altitudes. In this manner, Crane reached the ocean first, winning the right to inhabit the marshlands forever. The lesson of this fable is that winning is as much an exercise of motivation as of technique.
The mastery of attention and other mental skills is important to a sportsperson. But even more important is the athlete’s underlying motivational bedrock, whether he or she is an amateur or a professional. Dorcas Susan Butt, in her book Psychology of Sport, goes so far as to claim that on the most basic level, sports motivation represents the desire to express bodily energy assertively, to live a healthy life, and to master life's challenges3.
The Will to Win
Intense motivation springs from such deep emotional urges as the struggle to survive, the will to win, and the desire to attain optimal levels of functioning. Each athlete is driven in a different way, but the underlying motivation provides a "golden thread" that permeates the highest levels of performance in sports and the martial arts. Once you make contact with that golden thread, you will be able to weave it into your attempts to define your goal, identify your purpose, describe what you want from sports, and determine how to bring your objective into reality.
Motivation can be biological, social, or psychological in nature. The biological level represents the physical components of motivation -- the supply of "life energy" an athlete has available during a sports event or performance. Examples would be the presence or absence of a primal struggle for survival and the basic will to win. Athletes often speak of “feeling alive,” of “pitting oneself against the environment,” or “putting out good energy.” The social level represents the attitudes and feelings the sportsperson harbors toward others within any given athletic enterprise, whether it is a specific event or that sport’s community in general. Examples would be the performer's point of view toward teammates, coaches, other athletes, sports officials, fans, and/or family members.
The psychological level represents the way that effort is channeled through the personality style of the athlete or martial artist. If the sportsperson is an "aggressive" type, his or her life energy will be directed into assertive self-expression, pitted against other people and objects. If the sportsperson is an "achieving" type, his or her energy will be channeled into interacting in an effective way with the environment or with other people, so as to attain specific goals, purposes, or records. If the sportsperson is a "conflicted" personality type, there are mixed motives. The desire to succeed may be in conflict with the desire to fail. Sometimes this conflict blocks an athlete's pursuits, but at other times it can actually assist, especially if the opposing pursuits are temporarily resolved on the playing field or in the martial arts contest4.
Social and psychological goals often overlap. Some athletes are basically competitive and want to defeat others, to win contests, to be "number one," and to emerge triumphant and victorious. Others are more cooperative and enjoy feeling part of the group and in participating with others in a common effort. Some sports require certain predispositions and temperaments. Successful jockeys are often small; football players are typically large. For many sports, 70% to 90% of performance is determined by one’s physical constitution leaving only 30% to be accounted for by practice, psychological preparation, and luck5. But such sports as boxing and ice hockey require high levels of aggression that provide the winning edge when the opponents’ physical capacity is equal.
Motivation can be fueled by the anticipation of what psychologists call "internal rewards." Examples would be satisfaction with one's performance or with the team's score, the bodily pleasure associated with experiencing an outstanding performance, and the esthetic delight in having performed in a manner marked by beauty, mastery, or mystery. But motivation can also depend on "external rewards." Examples would be the financial remuneration, gifts and free equipment, applause and social prestige, and adulation and sexual status that often accompany a sports champion in our society. Internal rewards are generally more effective over longer periods of time, but if external rewards are especially important to you, simply admit the fact and allow them to stimulate your best efforts.
When motivation and attention work together, an athlete's sportspower is enriched. Michael Mahoney, a leading American sports psychologist, once conducted a study involving 30 Olympic-style weightlifters. Using a hand dynamometer, he and a colleague measured each lifter's base strength. Mahoney then asked the lifters to count backwards by 7s from a 4-digit number. This task did not significantly alter their performance but it did demonstrate that internal focus, by itself, is insufficient to change performance. Finally, half of the lifters were asked to "psych" themselves up before their third attempt to lift weights. The other half were asked to repeat the backwards count. Those lifters who were told to "psych" themselves up showed dramatic improvements in performance. When asked what they did, the lifters reported using affirmations (such as "I can lift this weight very easily"), imagery (in which they "saw" themselves lifting the weights before they actually attempted the task), narrow focus (in which they banished all other thoughts from their mind, save the weightlifting task), and self-generated arousal (in which they plugged into their emotions and boosted their motivation to do well). This experiment was short and simple, yet it yielded results that clearly demonstrated the ability of controlled attention and emotion to improve the lifters’ performance6.
But is self-control always the best strategy for a sportsperson? Are there some athletes and martial artists who consistently seem to perform in a seemingly effortless manner, and whose abilities might be hampered if they attempt to manipulate their thoughts and feelings? Some sportspeople insist that they do better if they "go with the flow" than if they attempt to analyze and control what they are doing.
There is no easy answer to this question. Perhaps athletes who "go with the flow" have unconsciously found the right blend of attentional and emotional skills that enables them to perform well. As long as their system works for them, someone else would be reluctant to criticize it. However, many coaches and more than a few athletes have observed that there are inherent weaknesses in always "going with the flow." This type of athlete commonly experiences great difficulty when, for some reason, he or she stops "flowing" and hits a losing streak or a prolonged slump. These athletes have no strategy to pull themselves together; their typical response is to "wait until something good happens" or to rely on superstition (wearing a certain piece of clothing, rubbing a good luck charm). True, these techniques may work if the sportsperson believes in them strongly enough. An understanding of basic principles of performance will work even better.
When to "Flow"
Robert J. Rotella and Deidre Connelly, two sports psychologists, suggest that it may be best to "flow" when athletes are winning, when they have a "hot streak," and when they are receiving positive support from their coaches, their teammates, and their fans. But sportspeople need to have a repertoire of self-control strategies when they begin to fall out of the "flow," lose regularly, and get discouraged7. Self-control strategies need not be separate from the "flow"; indeed, Eastern disciplines urge the practice of sitting meditation, movement meditation, and mental meditation to bring people into the “flow" of life.
The "flow" of life consists of both a stream and a current. The stream is always present -- it is your life force, your energy potential, and your path of day-by-day existence. The current is your commitment, your motivation, your determination, and -- ultimately -- your performance, activity, and behavior. Sometimes it will seem as if the current is "flowing" to your advantage as you make baskets, hit targets, and score points. At other times it will appear as if the current has stopped -- or that it is running backwards. On these occasions you need to pause, reflect, and adopt a strategy. Perhaps you should "wait it out," hoping that the block to your progress will be temporary. Perhaps you might imagine plunging toward the bottom of the stream, attempting to locate a deeper current that you can successfully ride. Or you might imagine leaving the "flow," resting for a while, and then walking upstream or downstream to a point that seems favorable for your reentry.
If you have trouble relating to the "flow" metaphor, you might prefer something more incandescent. Some athletes and martial artists strike like lightning; their “free form” performances dazzle spectators and evoke envy from competitors. Other athletes resemble an electric light bulb. They might not be as flashy or brilliant, but have learned how to “turn on” their light, and keep it glowing for long periods of time. The “lightning bugs" often disparage the "light bulbs" as lacking spontaneity and excitement, while the "bulbs" may criticize the “bugs" for their dependence on chance and serendipity. Once again, both the "bugs" and the "bulbs" have qualities that are favorable. The challenge for the "bugs" is how to glow, and for the "bulbs" how to blaze. These are issues that strike to the heart of human motivation and inspiration, belief and dedication, thinking and feeling.
At the turn of the century, William James, the philosopher and psychologist, observed that the first and most important factor at the beginning of any project is a person’s belief in the project. A sense of purpose must underlie your skills if they are to develop to their fullest potential, helping you find your athletic path and remain steadfast upon it.
Stamina is an essential element in achieving peak sports performance and developing the necessary confidence for realizing true sportspower. Endurance, or the duration of athletic performance, is one of the primary external manifestations of inner power. The capacity to store, channel, and replenish power is the core dimension of endurance in sports. This ability to store energy that can be converted into power is something that you can develop through training your stamina. Stamina training is actually a method of extending the mind's belief in what the body can do. The result is an increase in confidence -- the heart of sportspower.
If you are going to channel power and energy, it is important to understand stamina not as an addition or an appendage to performance but rather as an underlying requirement for maximizing ability. It might be useful to think of stamina as a quality of power that the outstanding athlete can express in an observable form such as the ability to persist in a task, although to conceptualize stamina in terms of the capacity to perform is merely to focus on one of its byproducts.
The essence of stamina is the ability of an athlete to bring higher levels of intensity to the performance of both shorter and longer tasks, no matter if it's a 40-yard sprint or marathon. The term "stamina" indicates a sportsperson's ability to store and expend energy over time. This enduring quality allows you, at will, to unleash a greater quantity of energy for training and performing. With stamina, you will persist in your sport, and your ability will change, grow, and adapt. The benefit of stamina in sportspower is that it will enable you to develop greater confidence and higher intensity to meet the challenges and to make the breakthroughs necessary to operate at advanced levels in sports.
Types of Stamina
There have been examples of athletes whose performances could have been enhanced by a greater level of stamina: a champion runner who slows down in the final meters of a race, a boxer who can't hold up his gloves in the late rounds of a fight, or a baseball player tagged at home after unaccountably slowing down. All of these are examples of athletes who falter, fail to accelerate, or can not sustain high levels of attention.
Sport psychologists have identified three basic types of endurance: aerobic stamina (endurance over long periods of time), anaerobic stamina (speed of recovery), and attentional stamina (maintenance of mental focus).
(1.) Aerobic (which means "with oxygen") stamina is the ability to perform over longer periods of time without suffering from diminished capacity. High levels of performance, in such sports as long-distance swimming, cycling, and running require the proper amount of energy over extended periods of time. If the right amount of
energy is present, you will not be hampered by a decrease in power, by lessened output, or by the downward curve that usually accompanies strenuous performance.
(2.) Anaerobic (which means "without oxygen") stamina is the ability to operate repeatedly at high burst rates of energy output, and recover quickly and perform again with little diminished capacity. In individual sports such as tennis and team sports as football and basketball, a player is expected to make repeated bursts of speed. In both sports there are bursts of intense activity followed by pauses which, in turn, are followed by a resumption of activity. Ideally the third or fourth sprint is run as quickly as the first. As you improve your anaerobic stamina, you will be able to make repeated short sprints at or near maximum speed and with minimal rest, reach your maximum speed more quickly, and hold your heart rate level for longer times and distances before slowing down. Anaerobic stamina training can give you the edge to become a faster and powerful opponent.
(3.) Attentional stamina is the ability to maintain mental flexibility and to focus on a specific sports task over a period of time. This type of stamina is related to the other two types as well, but is paramount when mental focusing is the key to superior performance in such sports as archery, auto racing, and billiards. Participants in these sports need to focus at high levels of decision making and intensity, whether the activity is discontinuous as in billiards or archery, or continuous as in auto racing.
Aerobic Stamina Training
Aerobic capacity is the ability of the lungs to take in large amounts of air and of the heart to pump oxygen to all the muscles of the body for energy. The energy that a muscle uses comes from the burning of energy within that muscle. Aerobic training trains the heart, lungs, and muscles to use oxygen directly for energy formation. The larger your aerobic capacity, the more oxygen you can use and burn, and the more efficient your heart, lungs, and circulatory system will be in providing the muscles with oxygen8
In practical terms, your aerobic energy system does not begin to function in athletic events and activities until about two minutes have elapsed. Any sporting event that requires less than two minutes of continuous activity is not an aerobic event. The aerobic system begins to function after 15 to 30 seconds of athletic activity, but it is not until after two minutes that it functions long enough to have any training benefit.
The ability to sustain effort that requires the blood to absorb oxygen and get to the working muscles is called aerobic fitness. This is the fitness required by long-distance runners, swimmers, and mountaineers. However, aerobic training is an essential part of any athletic program because of the value it has in increasing circulation and developing the capacity of the heart and lungs to supply blood and oxygen. The foundation is necessary to form a solid base of strength for sportspower.
The primary goal of aerobic training is to stabilize your rate of heart and lung exertion capacity over a period of time or distance. In aerobic running, for example, the athlete runs at a pace at which he or she can inhale sufficient oxygen to replenish that being burned up by the muscles.
Among the best methods of aerobic training are aerobic dancing, bicycling, jogging, swimming, and cross-country skiing. The advantages of bicycling and swimming over aerobic dance and jogging are that they work the major muscle groups of the body and develop a greater coordination of breath technique without the severe wounding that can increase the risk of injury. Conversely, the advantages of running include the fact that it does not require special facilities or equipment such as a swimming pool, bicycle, or dance studio, and that it just as effective a way to remove toxins from the body.
Your endurance is quite easy to improve by following either a simple or complex program. It is only necessary to run or swim medium to long distances 30 minutes three to five times per week, keep a log of how many miles or laps you covered, and how much time it took to finish. On each subsequent workout, you simply increase the distance and/or attempt to reduce the time.
There are several ways to maximize the benefits you will receive from this type of training. To build stamina and increase power output the following exercises are recommended.
(1.) Changing Your Gait. During one run, try to change your gait two or three times. You might move from a high speed to a low speed, from a gait where you swing your arms to one where you carry weights, from a gait where you shorten your steps to one where you lengthen them. This variation allows one muscle group to rest while another is exerted.
(2.) Changing Your Style. Vary your swimming style. Shifting from breast stroke to crawl or butterfly can shift your requirements for energy into high gear and develop your endurance tremendously.
(3.) Hill Training. Another variation of aerobic training is to include a steep grade or hill in your running path. Rather than focusing on your speed initially, concentrate on maintaining a steady pace as you go. Use this training to learn how to maintain tempo and conserve energy. This is one of the best ways to increase your endurance and is the type of training used by mountaineers for performing at high altitudes where levels of oxygen are low.
Running or swimming for increasing periods of time while extending the distance is an excellent way to improve aerobic endurance. Remember, the goal of this training is to increase the ability of the heart to beat at faster rates for longer periods of time and to increase the capacity of the lungs to take in oxygen.
Anaerobic Stamina Training
Anaerobic fitness involves short-term rapid explosive effort that burns up tremendous stores of energy; it exhausts the oxygen already present both in the blood and in the tissues themselves. This is the type of fitness needed by weightlifters, sprinters, and other athletes who build up an oxygen debt in their efforts. Sometime you see them overdraw on their bloodstream and then collapse in a breathless heap, unable to move until they have replaced that debt. Many sprinters will not breathe during a 100-meter race. In contrast, long-distance runners rely not upon an oxygen debt but on an efficient system of oxygen intake through the lungs, transmission of this by the blood, and an efficient use by the muscles.
In the first two minutes of any physical activity, or until the aerobic system gears up, you are utilizing anaerobic energy which is already stored in the muscles. In baseball there is no play that lasts two minutes, so baseball makes very little aerobic demand on the body. Normally, baseball players have to run only 30 yards every half-hour, hence it is an anaerobic sport. Our bodies have two types of anaerobic energy systems. The first is instantaneous energy which gets us moving on a split-second basis. The second involves the slightly slower type of anaerobic energy which is stored in the form of glycogen (a carbohydrate) in our muscles. We are able to burn glycogen until the aerobic energy system starts to take over, after about two minutes9.
If you are going to develop endurance for anaerobic sports it will be necessary to undertake some form of speed stamina training. This process involves training your ability to displace all of your stored energy and then replenishing it completely with a short rest. One method of accomplishing this goal is by sprinting. This type of training is excellent because it is 90% to 95% anaerobic and also is readily accessible to most individuals. Often people don't think of themselves as having the ability to sprint because it involves such a tremendous use of power, yet this is exactly the kind of power you will want to develop whether it is used for dashing to the net in tennis or running a pattern in football. In both sports, the player's energy is expended after each play; recovery is necessary before the next play and little time may be available for recuperation.
Your speed stamina is actually quite easy to improve. It is only necessary for you to sprint short distances two to three times per week and keep a log of how many sprints you made, the distance, and how much time it took for you to recover between each sprint. On each workout, you simply increase the sprint distance and decrease the recovery time between each repetition. You will notice that within a period of four to six weeks your power and speed endurance will have increased dramatically.
Pickup sprints are an easy, effective training tool for improving endurance and speed in virtually any sport that requires strength or movement. Pickup sprints involve a gradual increase from a jog to a striding pace and then to a maximum effort sprint.
Attentional Stamina Training
Outstanding performers are characterized by exceptional concentration and attention skills. It is not uncommon for them to report becoming unaware of the audience and being fully absorbed in the demands of their performance. An athlete’s attention skills need to be appropriate to the demands of the sport. For example, "closed" sports are those in which the challenge remains static or unchanging because the task is to overcome a physical obstacle such as distance, time, or gravity. Archery, bowling, track and field, and weightlifting are examples of closed sports.
"Open" sports, in contrast, are those in which the challenge is dynamic or changeable, usually because it involves one or more human opponents. All team sports are open and a few individual sports such as boxing, fencing, and wrestling, are open. Michael Mahoney points out that athletes in closed sports tend to report more problems with their confidence, concentration, and anxiety management than do their counterparts in open sports10. The dynamic nature of open sports might provide the athlete with a greater variety of incoming stimuli, preventing his or her attention from wandering during the event.
A variety of exercises are available for improving concentration. One of them can be undertaken with ordinary materials. Simply take a newspaper or magazine and a pencil or pen. Set an alarm clock to rouse you after three minutes. Begin to circle each letter "A" in the periodical, then, go on the letter "B." If you complete the alphabet before the time is up, go on to another article. On the following day, increase the time to five minutes. This is a routine task that is not directly related to sports activities, but will teach you whether or not your mind wanders and your concentration lessens. If so, ask yourself what disturbing thoughts or feelings intrude into your stream of consciousness. If you can resolve these thoughts and feelings, your concentration will improve and it will be easier for you to focus on tasks during sports events.
Another exercise is closer to the athletic task itself. As you are riding on an airplane, a bus, or a train, focus upon your left foot. Sense any feelings -- either pleasant or unpleasant – in your left foot. Then move on to your right foot. Continue with the left calf, then the right calf. Do the same for the shin, the thigh, and continue for all parts of the body, both left and right sides. Stop the exercise as soon as your attention wanders, and make another attempt the following day.
These various types of stamina training permeate the entire process. Stamina is the ability to sustain your sports performance; it crosses all kinds and types of activities in athletics, exercise, and the martial arts. No matter what your level of ability or performance, you need stamina to sustain and endure as an athlete.
Keep in mind that many sports require aerobic, anaerobic, and attention stamina. This is especially true of the martial arts since they involve long hours of continuous activity with bursts of powerful strenuous effort (as in fight situations). Both sustained and explosive efforts are needed, as well as the attention stamina that keeps the martial artist alert to the intention of his or her opponent.
Remember that the quality of your stamina is affected by your purpose in playing sports, in studying martial arts, or in committing yourself to an exercise program. The more closely your purpose connects with your deepest and higher sources of power, the more enduring will be your stamina and the more vital will be your sportspower.
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The preparation of this paper was supported by the Chair for the Study of Consciousness, Saybrook Graduate School, San Francisco, California, USA.