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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Mindfulness (Take a Breath)

"Mindfulness carves out new pathways for relieving stress...and is proven to improve performance." - Mindfulness Goes Mainstream (PBS)

Serious coaches leave no stone unturned searching for a sustainable competitive edge. Physical, technical, tactical, emotional, and psychological education merit attention. 

Many will simply blow off the 'mental experience' training, considering it soft and unmeasurable. How is that going to help me to higher performance? Without high level mental function, high performance is impossible. 

"Meditation improves mental health, improves heart and lung function, and improves focus." We can use it to manage anxiety, stress, and depression. Mindfulness training induces neurophysiologic change. Mindfulness training elevated golf trainees' national rankings relative to those in a control group. 

"It is a competitive advantage at work."

"Freedom from worry and regret...mindfulness is about bringing the state of awareness...into your daily life." Mindfulness is the opposite of being "out of our minds". 

"Meditation is hard because you have to stop everything." You can start with one breath a day! We can use mindfulness to clear our minds and make more resources available to us in the moment. "Mindfulness can help individuals recognize the first negative just a thought." - UMASS Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn

George Mumford worked with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Shaquille O'Neal during their NBA careers. “George helped me understand the art of mindfulness,” Bryant said. “To be neither distracted or focused, rigid or flexible, passive or aggressive. I learned just to be.

Graham Betchart works with a host of young NBA stars like Aaron Gordon, Zach Levine, and Karl Anthony-Towns. He also wrote, Play Present: A Mental Skills Training Program for Basketball Players.

Even the NCAA, with eyes on every dollar, is spending resources on studying mindfulness for student athletes. 

"Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan could care less about their last present."

"Anyone can go 0 for 5; you have to be really good to go 0 for 10." 

"My next shot IS good." At the end of the day, it is about investing in yourself. "When do we practice focusing? Right now." Your "next play speed" is how quickly you can return to the present...ideally it becomes continuous. Heaven can wait; improvement cannot. 

We can change how we experience life. 

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