Alexander Technique and the Olympics
Posted on 27th July 2012 at 17:35
Have just finished with my last Alexander Technique client in Harley Street for the day and walked through Cavendish Square and onto Oxford Street. Yes – you CAN feel the difference! The energy and numbers of people filled with excitement, anticipation and expectation of the Olympic Games is palpable. And that it is not raining, just now, is a bonus!
At HITE we are really looking forward to the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Not so much for the ceremony itself but because it marks the start of the Games that have been 7 years in gestation. We want to see the athletes, the A-W of sports from archery to weightlifting (there is no X, Y or Z!) and perhaps like many others endeavour to discern what makes the greatest great.
What are the ingredients, in what quantity, regularity, combination and timing? Natural talent, childhood motivation and encouragement, or was it an ‘I’ll show them’ attitude? Hours, days, weeks, months, years; a lifetime’s dedication to get to this moment – the starting line.
To how many other people, projects and distractions has one built up the ability to say, ‘No’, in order to focus on the ultimate glory of Gold at London 2012. In the Alexander Technique, knowing what we do not want is as important as knowing what we do want. The saying ‘no’ comes first in order to open up the space and the pathways for what we do want to be realised.
How much does nutrition matter? From Jamaican Usain Bolt who got Olympic gold at Beijing and broke the world record for the men’s 100m on a pre-race meal of chicken nuggets, to the claims from Serbian male tennis gold-medal-seeking Novak Djokovic that eating gluten free has helped to improve his energy and form.
The men’s 100m sprint is somehow absolutely mesmerising. Who is the fastest man on the planet? Usain Bolt said yesterday that if he wins the Gold in London 2012 he will become a legend. This is what he has been preparing and hoping for; the years of dedication will all be over in less than 10 seconds – and that’s about the length of time it would have taken you to read this sentence. Everything must work at this moment. The reaction from the starting pistol, the burst of strength and sheer power, the co-ordination, flow, energy, obsession and determination all coming to the fore.
But as Alexander Technique teachers we will also have our trained eyes open across all of the sports for the ‘Primary Control’ working within the athlete. The ‘Primary Control’ is the unique head-neck-back relationship which is the lynchpin of the Alexander Technique for optimum performance – be it in sport, music, acting, business and our daily life. It is not only available to Olympic athletes but is the birthright of all of us. It is that natural, flowing co-ordination that you see in a young child where movement appears flowing and effortless. It is when mind and body are in an inseparable state of dynamic poise, which helps us to reach our potential in all of our ventures whilst maximising rather than jeopardising our health and well-being.
So on that note, HITE would like to wish you all the most fantastic London 2012 Olympic Games, and we’ll keep you updated with our insights as they progress. And do send us your observations and comments. If you are interested in improving your running, cycling, swimming, horse riding, or any other of the Olympic sport, by learning the Alexander Technique, then contact us today by email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel +44 (0) 20 7567 8461. You won’t regret it!
Tagged as: Alexander Technique, Athlete, Cavendish Square, Co-ordination, Cycling, Flow, Harley Street, Health and Wellbeing, HITE, Novak Djokovic, Olympics, Oxford Street, Performance, Primary Control, Running, Swimming, Usain Bolt
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