Melbourne coach says meditation the next stage in sport prep
MELBOURNE coach Paul Roos says the study of meditation and its ability to create the complete athlete will lead the next generation of sports science.
Roos spoke at length about the positives of meditation during his talk at the Alexandra Headland surf club yesterday for a Maroochydore Australian Football Club-arranged lunch.
The AFL premiership-winning coach (with the Swans), on the Coast with his squad for a pre-season training camp at Maroochydore, said exploring the benefits of a healthy mind was the next logical step in helping to create the complete athlete.
"The AFL used to be a part-time game and you would get to training at five o'clock and train hard for three hours," he said.
"In the pre-season we would get up at 5.30am and train until 7.30am and then go to work.
"Then it evolved to a professional level and a lot of time and effort was spent on recovery and ice baths and things.
"Now, it is wellness."
The Melbourne Football Club has taken some serious steps towards meeting Roos' philosophy and now monitor its players' sleep patterns.
Roos said the area of performance that had been left behind was the mind and the brain, and clearing the head to be as focused as possible.
"I think any athlete who talks about being in the zone knows that it is a meditative state where you have got no other thoughts in your mind," he said,
"You can play in that meditative state, but we have never trained athletes to be able to do it.
"I have no doubt in my mind that that is where footy is going to go and that is where sport is going to go, to spend a lot more time on meditation and visualisation."
On the issue of player punishment - at a time when some clubs showed lenience depending on an offender's standing within a team, Roos said his "no dickhead policy had been the fabric of every team he had coached.
"To create a culture, you have to create a set of standards and a set of behaviours, and you have got to stick to them," he said.
"If you have got 40 players doing the right thing, then the four left over feel really alienated and they have got two choices to make. They comply or they leave."