Whether you just love the game of football and look forward to a game of pick-up with friends on a Saturday afternoon or you are an elite athlete on a pro- or college-level team, you want fast reflexes and an even quicker mind. You want the incredible, almost magical satisfaction of playing in the “zone.”
Nick Edwards has been a defensive back for the Amherst College football team for the past two years. He knows what a mind-game football can be and what it’s like to battle with quick-witted quarterbacks and fleet-footed receivers. He also knows what it takes to win that battle and to have fun doing it.
“You’ve got to get into that ‘zone’—that place where you are super-clear and focused with no distractions in your mind,” says Nick. “You have to think super-fast so you can instantly sense how best to react.”
Nick says that his daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique has been a key to get in that state of mind especially in tense situations.
In the final game of the 2009 season with an undefeated record on the line, Nick made two key interceptions as part of a 26-21 victory over arch rival Williams College. “We needed to stop their momentum. My coach felt that those interceptions helped change the dimension of the game. I just love contributing like that, and I think that Transcendental Meditation has really helped me to do it,” Nick says. “Practicing TM helps me to focus and eliminate the noise that gets you distracted so that you can contribute your best no matter what.”
Coaches and players are increasingly aware that the most important part of any game is being played in the 6 inches between the players’ ears.
As Nick says, “You have just got to stay in the moment—fully committed, fully focused. Physical training—running, drills, lifting weights—isn’t enough. You need to train your mind and the coordination of your mind and body. Transcendental Meditation has really given me that. And it makes me feel whole and great.”
Nick has found that practicing the Transcendental Meditation technique has helped him off the field as well. In 2010 Nick was named to ESPN’s Academic All-District Team.
“I like striving for perfection in all aspects in my life,” Nick says. “I try to really achieve everything I can in everything I do. I think that TM has helped me have the natural kind of confidence I always seem to feel.”