Wisdom from Sport Extends Far Beyond the Physical

An examination of the far-reaching benefits (and the science behind them) of pushing oneself physically.

When we push our physical boundaries, and do so in a mindful manner, we shape more than just our bodies. We shape our minds and spirits, too. I’ve given this topic a lot of thought, and I’ve researched the science behind it. (Turns out, there is lots of it.) Many readers have asked for a compilation of my recent work on the far-reaching benefits of sport, so I’ve put just that together below. Click on the links to learn more.

Sport helps you learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, building resistance to many other stressors in life. In a world where comfort is king, sport providers a rare opportunity to practice suffering.

Sport teaches you to hone in on the things you can control and not waste energy worrying about the things you cannot; to focus on the process over outcomes and to be fully present in the pursuit itself.

Sport teaches you that patience is a virtue — that the road to mastery is unending and requires resisting instant gratification.

Sport teaches you that failure is merely information; that embracing failure today often leads to success tomorrow. That the best don’t judge themselves against others but against prior versions of themselves.

Sport demonstrates the very real performance-enhancing power of belief; when you shed fear and doubt, you open up your mind and body to achieve their full potential.

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If you want to learn more about the science of human performance…

Follow me on Twitter @Bstulberg and Facebook and sign up for my newsletter, where I share evidence-based performance tips (like those above) via email every other Thursday.

A special thanks to New York Magazine’s The Science of Us for giving me the space to cover these stories and to Dan Pederson for reprinting and sharing them in his wonderful Medium publication.