Managing stress with paralympic cyclist Gordon Allan

In the midst of their assessment period, Year 9 students were joined by paralympic cyclist Gordon Allan for a session on how to manage stress and why practising mindfulness can be a helpful tool.

During the session, Gordon shared the strategies he uses as both an elite athlete and student to cope with stress.

He provided students with tips on building strength, the benefits of practising gratitude and mental flexibility, how to practise mindfulness, and ways to develop endurance.

“It’s not about being intelligent or smart,” said Gordon. “It’s about having a clear head to face what’s ahead of us.”

To give students a taste of a mindfulness exercise they can use, he played a meditation track that allowed students to pause, relax and tune into their emotions and body.

“For me, mindfulness is really important so I can get myself mentally ready to race. I use music as a mindfulness trick to tune in to the music, the race, and what I need to do.

“It’s about focusing on what we need to do despite what might happen or what hiccups there are along the road.”

Gordon is a University of Sydney Sport and Exercise Science student and elite athlete.