New Boise State edge rusher, George Tarlas, uses meditation to train, establishes routine

Posted at 12:14 PM, Aug 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-27 14:14:00-04

BOISE, Idaho — Boise State Football added George Tarlas, an edge rusher, through the transfer portal this summer. Tarlas spent his first five years of college football playing at Weber State.

Tarlas isn't new to Boise, as he played at Borah after he moved to the U.S. from Greece.

Like most college athletes, Tarlas takes his preparation seriously. Tarlas runs on his routines. He is the first to show up to practice every day, usually, around 5:30. Being the first in the building has its benefits though, like getting to choose the locker room music.

“I get in to start my day, I put my music in the speakers in the locker room just to wake up," Tarlas said. "Sometimes I play Jazz music in the morning to go with the flow you know, be grateful, remind myself what I’m grateful for.”

One of Tarlas' many routines is meditation. Tarlas uses mindfulness and meditation techniques to relax his body and mind. He even tries to visualize parts of the game before he plays in them. He can't do that all the time though.

“I try not to do it at night because my adrenaline levels go through the roof," Tarlas said. "I just get my heartbeat going  I’m like I’m about to make a sack right now and then I can’t sleep."

Things like this show how strong the human brain can be, according to Eric Martin, a Boise State associate professor of sport and exercise psychology.

Martin says that meditation can take a lot of forms, and doesn't have to be the stereotypical version that most people think of. He says the most important part of meditation is consistency.

“Researchers would actually say, if you have a consistent practice of something like that," Martin said. "You’ll actually see physiological changes in your brain that are going to help you be able to be more focused and be more present-minded, be able to really think about what you want to really accomplish and be more present in that way.”

Routine is something that Tarlas works well with, and that is likely why he sees benefits from his meditation. For Tarlas, his practice of meditation is all about self-control.

“Cause at the end of the day, you control what you can control and that’s yourself," Tarlas said. "And if you can control your entire self, you’re in a better spot than somebody that is lost in the crowd.”