August 11, 2016
The Rio Olympics 2016 are underway!
Here at One Day and School’s Out, we’re celebrating all things Olympic with a Rio Olympics themed week at Gateways School in Leeds! It’s been a jam-packed one, with Brazilian Drumming, Samba Dancing, Carnival face paints, Olympics sports games and much more! Don’t worry if you didn’t manage to catch us this week; we’re back in full Carnival spirit at Unity Works in Wakefield next week!
In light of this, we’ve been thinking about sportsmanship and the challenges that athletes face when competing at such high-pressure events. As spectators, we often forget about the athletes as individuals and the huge pressures put on them to represent their countries.
We loved listening to Stephanie Labbé’s (Canadian Women’s Soccer Team Goalkeeper) podcast about Mindfulness and focus, which can be relevant to all of us in our personal lives and endeavours. This follows on from our last blog post on Mindfulness and self-esteem. During her interview, Stephanie talks about the challenges athletes face, and how these challenges can help you grow and “make you what you are today”. She stresses the importance of pursuing the things you enjoy, as “if you find something you’re passionate about and you love doing, it will never feel like a job”!
We also love how she tends to use the word “girl” when referring to herself in relation to soccer, as she associates it with the fun and youth in her; it’s her place of happiness and freedom.
Stephanie is playing against France in the Women’s Quarterfinal tomorrow evening, and so the pressure is on. She says that before she steps onto the pitch, she often uses the Mindfulness technique ‘Imagery’, where she “re-plays positive movies in her head” to help her focus. For example, she might picture herself catching a goal, therefore “feeding the positives” which helps to make her feel more positive and focused generally. This could be a Mindfulness technique we could all try?!
Mindfulness sessions are something we often bring to schools and have been working on with our summer camp kids at School’s Out too. However, Olympics Week for us is less about physical performance and more about celebrating the Olympics theme and culture of Brazil. Positivity comes not only from within, but also from engagement, discovery, activity and encouragement. We’ve loved introducing Brazilian drumming, painting, creating, dancing and gaming to all our School’s Out children this week, and can’t wait to bring more of the same to Wakefield next week!
See you there!