Yes, you can be angry and be mindful. Mindfulness does not mean feeling zen in every moment. What is most important is awareness and then what you do with your anger and how you use it. There is a simple reason why mindfulness can be challenging: it means that the responsibility for emotional and other reactions and responses are on your shoulders.
There is definitely a place for anger. You might have to talk yourself through it or figure out how to use it to your advantage, especially when competing. Anger often is an emotion associated with action, So using your anger to help get you fired up or motivated might be incredbily helpful.
Athletes: When are You Mindful and Mindless
Listen and read the words to the tennis player in the video:
His words are all about being really angry with himself and his performance. Then, he says a few simple words to change this around and the technique appears to help him. You might label these as “green light” words because they help him use his anger positively. He says:
“you can do it, fight…”
Anger can add good fuel to your game if you channel it into motivation. Being completely out of control and not being able to redirect it is more about being mindless. There’s a big difference.
Every athlete has mindless moments, times when their thoughts, emotions, or behaviors “blow up”. But a single moment of awareness can have a huge impact on a response. Remember this famous head butt? This is letting anger and other emotions rule you and not in an advantagous way.