Do professional athletes meditate?
YES! Although most people would not attribute both the Chicago Bulls’ & Los Angeles Lakers six NBA championships under Phil Jackson to their meditation practice, meditation was part of their training.
When George Mumford, the meditation coach hired by Phil Jackson was asked what he feels meditation offers athletes he replied;
“The opportunity to be in the moment. In sports, what gets people’s attention is this idea of being in the zone, or playing in the zone. When they are playing their best, they can do no wrong, and no matter what happens they are always a step quicker, a step ahead. That happens when we are in the moment, when we are mindful of what is going on. There’s a lack of self-consciousness, there’s a relaxed concentration, and there’s this sense of effortlessness, of being in the flow…. When we are in the moment and absorbed with the activity, we play our best. That happens once and awhile, but it happens more often if we learn how to be more mindful. By mindful, I mean being aware, being engaged with the present moment. Mindfulness is useful because it is through this that we can see what is going on. It means knowing what needs to happen and doing it.”
“The practice of meditation deeply affects our character. We are slaves to what we do not know; of what we know we are masters.” -Maharaj.
As a result of meditation athletes experience the following benefits:
- Focus & concentration.
- Confidence & optimism.
- Optimal BodyMind integration, coordination and mastery.
- Increased ability to enter peak awareness & slowing of time.
- Heightened intuition resulting in greater team cohesion & anticipation.
- Untapped Energy & vitality.
- Deepened relaxation & lasting wellbeing.
When should athletes & teams meditate for sports performance?
- If possible, always.
However, certain times in the season can be more beneficial such as:
- At the beginning & end of the season (set intention for season, or off-season training).
- When experiencing adversity (injuries, losses, fighting or ego battles).
- When experiencing celebration (a string of victories, championship run reflection, making to playoffs).
- Prior to traveling (many players experience distress in leaving home)
Where do athletes & teams meditate for sports performance?
The intention of my coaching is to empower athletes & teams with a simple, dynamic, & progressive meditation practice that they may enter anywhere.
- On the basketball court
- In the locker room
- On retreat
- In their home.
Why do athletes & teams meditate?