How do you release tension?

Written by Stuart Haden on August 2, 2017

The state of optimal performance doesn’t come out of thin air. Instead it operates as part of a cycle. Sometimes we get lucky and stumble across it, but I’d much rather engineer this cycle so that I can perform optimally almost at will. The cycle consists of 4 stages…

  • Struggle
  • Release
  • Flow
  • Recovery

We have plenty of struggle to overcome, so today I want to take a somewhat comical look at release. Here we need to decompress and break away from the norm. Otherwise we carry this tension into our next activity. Athletes are the best example of this. When the gun goes off or the place kicker steps up they have to reframe quickly.

One of the best exponents of this is none other than Usain Bolt, optimal indeed. Even without watching this video you might know what is coming next. I was in the crowd for this one so I can’t resist looking back at him winning gold in the 100m in London 2012. His pre race routine is a deliberate effort to release the tension. Check out his antics 3 mins into this video, the race itself stats after 5 mins…