What Business Can Learn from Sports about Mindfulness

sports and mindfulnessFrom jaw-dropping feats of athleticism to heart-warming stories of sacrifice – it was inspiring to watch Olympic dreams unfold in Sochi.  On a stage where winning and losing is separated by the thinnest of margins, it takes more than peak physical conditioning to bring home the gold.  The body and the mind must be in total coherence.  That’s why many top athletes – from snowboarders to NFL superstars – are moving away from tough-love, type-A training tactics and embracing a more holistic approach.

Harmony Crew believes that business leaders can learn a lot from watching how these competitors and their coaches prepare to “win.”  Increasingly, tactics such as visualization, meditation, and intrapersonal communication (changing the way you talk to yourself) are helping athletes reduce stress, improve focus, and perform well while benefiting their emotional and physical well-being.

Take first-time-ever Superbowl Champions the Seattle Seahawks.  Their 43 to 8 defeat of the Broncos wasn’t just a “win.”  It was a resounding victory and the satisfying culmination of almost four years of hard work, rebuilding every aspect of the team from the ground up.

Seahawks’ head coach, Pete Carroll, is determined to treat his players as individuals, not “objects,” a kinder, softer approach to the traditional hard-core, do-or-die world of professional football.  To achieve this, Carroll and his staff work closely with each team member to determine what’s going on in their lives and how they’re dealing with stress on and off the field.

Players are also given the option to start their workouts with focused meditation that helps them learn to quiet their minds, turn their attention inward, and visualize success.  Second-year star quarterback, Russell Wilson, fully embraces this practice and credits it for his ability to perform in pressure-packed situations.   “We do imagery work and talk about having that innovative mindset of being special,” Wilson says. “We talk about being in the moment and increasing chaos throughout practice, so when I go into the game, everything is relaxed.”

Now, imagine applying a similar approach to your business.  How much better could you and your team perform if you allowed dedicated time each day for visualizing success?  Research indicates that an ever-expanding cross-section of corporate America – including Fortune 500 giants such as Apple, Aetna, and Google – is turning to mediation, yoga, and other “mindfulness” activities aimed at opening the mind, sharpening focus, expanding creativity, and reducing stress.

Promega, a $300 million biotech company, is among their ranks.  Founder and CEO Bill Linton explains his philosophy as this, “Businesses have an opportunity, just like people, to say, ‘What are we here for?’ My goal is to align the self-actualization of the business with the self-actualization of the people who actually work here.”  To support this process, Linton offers employees a rich and varied selection of activities intended to increase mindfulness – including daily mediation.

Setting goals.  Visualizing success. Calming and focusing your mind.  Changing the way you talk to yourself.  These techniques can help you transform your performance and improve your life – whether you’re an Olympian, a football star, or a business professional.

Harmony Crew embraces the benefits of meditation and mindfulness – personally as well as professionally.  Our team can show you how to put these techniques to work for yourself – and for your organization.  Contact us today to find out more.

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One Response

  • Kathy, love this article!!!. I plan to send it to the coach of DC UNITED and suggest he meet with Harmony Crew!

    BB

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