George Mumford is a world-renowned sports psychologist and the individual Phil Jackson brought on to teach Mindfulness to Michael Jordan and the rest of the Chicago Bulls who reigned supreme in the 1990s.
I recently heard an interview with George for the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute’s Peacemaker Forum. I want to share with you a couple of the interesting lessons I learned from this interview.
Mindfulness Helps You To Be Flow Ready
Many athletes (and non-athletes as well) have had the experience of being in “Flow” – a state in which you are completely absorbed and present in what you are doing. In this state you are being challenged at just the right level (hard enough to keep your interest but easy enough so the challenge doesn’t cause frustration). It is at these times when we seem to work at our best and find feelings of true joy and timelessness in what we are doing.
When talking about this, George mentioned how everything begins with the mind. The mind can either trip you up or help you achieve what you want. Your mind has to be right and be “flow ready.” A consistent Mindfulness practice can do this for you so you can achieve the state more consistently.
Mindfulness and Sports
There are individuals who believe that Mindfulness can’t fit into sports because in sports your job is to beat the other person into submission. George argues that this is the wrong view. In order to achieve your best in sports you have to compete against your previous best self, so there is no enemy.
And his advice to athletes who are trying Mindfulness but struggling to learn the practice was simple – “Keep doing it until you can do it.”
A link to the full interview is below if you are interested in learning more. On thing you might want to try out is the 7-8 minute guided meditation he walks through at around the 35:30 mark of the video.
Wishing you success in all aspects of life,
Founder and President
Smart Health Wellness and Performance