The Tiger

The "Tiger Eye" is a term that we will use to mean peripheral vision, or the ability to see everything that is surrounding you without the necessity of moving the eyes or the head. This technique is very valuable in most sports and causes an increase in awareness and subsequently performance. If you can see everything that surrounds you, the chances of your throwing an interception, or missing a tackle or shot are greatly reduced.

The Meditative Position: there are as many different positions for meditation (or concentration on a specific thought towards a specified goal) as there are forms of meditation. All have their benefits but some of them are difficult to get into position to do. So we will use a simple but effective position, called in Yoga the half lotus position.

Sit on the floor with the legs crossed in front of the body. Place the right leg in first and cross the left leg in front of that. Strive to keep the knees as near the ground as possible and the back, spine and neck in a straight line. Rock back and forth and gently to the sides to assure you are sitting up straight. Place the arms on the tops of the knees with the palms up. This helps to stabilize and balance the back. You may feel uncomfortable in this position. That is because you are not flexible enough. To improve flexibility do the stretches found in the front of the book, but if you are not flexible because you have not been doing the stretches long enough you may modify the position so that you are grabbing the knees or even putting the legs straight out. You may even sit in a straight backed chair while you are learning your flexibility.

The half lotus position. Note the straight back, the arms on the knees, the left leg in front of the right, and the steady and calm eyes.

gaze should be straight ahead with the eyes not moving to fix a point for the gaze.

The hands should be held above the head to start with, the fingers forming a triangle, and then slowly brought down to in front of the eyes. There the eyes should be fixed in their gaze upon one area and no longer move. The hands should then be placed on the knees, palms up with the thumb and forefinger inter joined. Now the Tiger Eye should be practiced.

After one has assumed the meditative posture one should fix the gaze of his eyes directly ahead and on one point. Let us assume you are looking at a football field during a game and you are standing in the middle of the field facing the goal line. Now without moving your eyes you can see the following things. You can see the goal posts and the end zone. You can see the stripes on the field and the grass, and the colors of the grass. You can see the sidelines, and the benches full of other players on the sidelines. You can see the players on the playing field, all of the players, and you can see the sky. You can see the lights around the stadium and the fans in the seats around the stadium. You can see the players directly beside you and across from you. In other words, you can see everything - in front of you, on the side of you, above you, and below your feet.

Now listen, you can hear the crowd. You can hear the sports announcer. You can hear the coach and players yelling on the sidelines. You can hear the quarterback and the players on the field talking, and even walking or hitting each other on the plays. You can see everything and you can hear everything going on around you. This is total awareness, total visual and sensory awareness. You cannot be surprised by a clip, or scared by a yell of another player. You are aware, just like the tiger is aware in the jungle. Yet you are relaxed and ready to move in any direction at any time, just like the tiger in the jungle.

You will find upon investigation that when the eyes are looking straight ahead and not focusing too sharply on one particular object that all the field of vision can be seen. But if you move your eyes side to side very fast or move your head quickly, then everything becomes blurred and you can actually not see things clearly. Just like a good hunter only looks at the trees and notices the slightest movement, not at the individual limbs and sees only that limb. Just imagine that the field is like a small painting. You can see all of the painting clearly but not if you are moving your head from side to side or your eyes quickly from side to side. So try to get in the habit of moving the whole body when you move the eyes. That way you are always keeping the vision clear and the body in such a position to react accordingly and effectively. (for example, if you look out the corner of your eye, you can see. But if someone was going to hit you and you could just see him in the corner of your eye, your body would not be in a very strong position for defending yourself. It is better to turn the whole body to look.) before, and you will thus be practicing your peripheral vision and soothing the nerves and calming the mind. The more you become aware of the things around you, the more you begin to appreciate them and their beauty.

The "Tiger Eye" is most useful for foul shooting, quarterbacks, safeties, and linebackers and for coaching (for all good coaches are able to look at the play and see the whole play unfolding at once, not just one player at a time. So a spotter who uses this technique will be a more effective spotter because he will be able to see the whole field and whole play at once.)

The "Tiger Eye" also involves listening for when you are relaxed and noticing all the sights around you, you are also noticing all the sounds around you. A good player is not drawn off sides by the change in the quarterback's cadence or inflection, and a good player does not lose concentration when the crowd boos him or is screaming at him or the team. He is just concentrating on the shot, or the game. He hears the noise but is not distracted by it.

You can practice the Tiger Eye while walking around school or at home. Just look straight ahead when you walk and do not move the eyes. You will see all the people coming and going around you and any movement to the right and left. You will feel calm and hear things you have not noticed

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