FROM THE TRAINING ROOM …
One thing Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant have in common besides rings? George Mumford. A sports psychologist, mindfulness teacher, coach and author of The Mindful Athlete, Mumford has practiced meditation with a slew of former basketball greats. Here are three tips he gave us on zenning out that can help you, too, improve your athleticism.
MIND OVER MATTER
“Athletic ability is athletic ability, yet the mind controls whether or not it is expressed properly or hindered from expression. You can be the best athlete in the world, but if your mind doesn’t cooperate, it will trip you up. On the other hand, if your mind is cooperating with your athletic talent, you will experience the achievement of your goal.”
“Stamina can be viewed as being physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The practice of meditation not only enhances each of these aspects, it also unites them so that there is synergy. This phenomenon is sometimes referenced as being the ‘zone’ or ‘flow,’ where everything is done effortlessly and fatigue is not a factor.”
TRIAL AND ERROR
The drill is the same on court and off: be present for whatever you are doing right here, right now. “It’s blue-collar work, trial and error, let go and begin again. People have to work it out for themselves because we all have our idiosyncrasies and conditioning. The good news is there are many practices that will get you there. The not-so-good news is you have to practice and learn which approach works best for you.”