What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a technique and practice of focusing the mind. The practice of mindfulness comes from contemplative traditions of Asia and is scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase focus and improve performance.
Dr. Jon Kabat Zinn defines mindfulness as, “Paying attention, in a particular way, on purpose in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
The technique itself is simple, but requires a teacher who has deep experience of the method, and is able to answer questions and guide students through the subtleties of the mind.
Mindfulness meditation is essentially mind training. Just as the body needs training to stay in shape, so does the mind. By training the mind to stay in the present moment and release thoughts of past and future, one is able to pay attention to the task at hand.
For an athlete this skill is essential to optimal performance. Often the mind can be the biggest asset or the biggest burden for a player. Developing the ability to stabilize the mind and guide one’s attention gives the athlete a huge advantage over competitors that do not have this ability.
This allows athletes to choose what they want to focus on, and empowers them to stay motivated, engaged, and present.