Does Mindfulness Make a Better Athlete?

  Jonathan Fennell for The New York Times

Jonathan Fennell for The New York Times

The Well section of the New York Times is a continual source of insight and curiosity for us.  This recent article was especially interesting.  It tells of a study which documented how mindfulness practices improved the performance of a unique group of elite athletes...BMX racers!  “We called it ‘tactical training,’” said Lori Haase, an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry who led the new study. The athletes “rolled their eyes if we called it mindfulness,” she said."

Of particular note was how the "scientists defined mindfulness to mean an absorbed concentration on signals to the brain from elsewhere within the body."  Talk about turning inward!

Dr. Hasse advises athletes who'd like to benefit from greater mindfulness to start “thinking about your feet. The goal of mindfulness training is focused attention and bodily awareness, and when you are concentrating on your feet, you aren’t thinking about other things.”