Meditation is a truly powerful tool that is becoming more commonly practiced throughout the entire world. Ever since being introduced to it close to 5 years ago, meditation has become a somewhat regular practice in my life that has assisted me in numerous ways. Whether it be to help me simply quiet my mind from its incessant chatter, or whether it has helped me better focus on a task at hand, meditation -for those who practice it -can certainly be a valuable tool.
Meditation has also been linked to several health benefits, such as: increased immunity, emotional balance, increased fertility, symptom relief, anti-inflammation, and pain relief among many others.
It should come as no surprise then that several of the world’s top athletes have made meditation a part of their preparation and training for the intense physical work that they do. Here are 5 of the many professional athletes that meditate:
1. Lebron James
At only 29 years old, basketball player Lebron James already has 4 regular season MVP trophies, 2 NBA final MVP trophies and 2 NBA Championships among dozens of other accolades to his credit. His skill set is certainly beyond recognition, but there is something else to say about Lebron’s generally calm demeanor as he plays the game of basketball -particularly over the past couple of years. It’s as if the naturally fast paced game of basketball occurs in slow motion from his perspective, making him capable of scoring, passing and rebounding with ease amongst the world’s best. Lebron’s most infamous meditation experience occurred during the 2012 NBA Playoffs when he used a timeout to individually refocus. You can check out the video here:
2. Kobe Bryant
Sticking with the game of basketball, the even more impressively decorated -in terms of awards and achievements -Kobe Bryant has also publicly opened up about meditation. Kobe spoke about meditation while being a guest on the Conan O’Brien show, sharing that he and his teammates would often collectively meditate under the guidance of former head coach Phil Jackson prior to big games. Given Kobe’s public reputation for being one of, if not the best finishers and clutch players in the game of basketball it should come as no surprise that meditation could be involved in calming the nerves that plague so many other athletes when the game is on the line.
3. Derek Jeter
Despite being plagued by injury in recent years, future hall-of-famer Derek Jeter is without a doubt one of the best shortstops to ever play the game of baseball. Much like those listed before him, Jeter has achieved an enormous number of accolades throughout his career thus far, including 5 world series championships. Derek opened up about meditation in October 2012, when as part of an interview he stated that one hour morning meditations were a regular part of his off-day routine.
4. Barry Zito
Two-time world series champion and AL Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito has also publicly addressed meditation as a part of his regular life. Once one of the most dominant left-handed pitchers in the game of baseball, Barry has openly gone as far as even publicly promoting the incredible tool that meditation has been for him in his life. The most publicly recognized meditation instance involving Barry occurred in May of 2013 when he, director David Lynch and actor/ comedian Russell Brand partook in a group meditation at a San Francisco high school.
5 & 6. Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh
3-Time olympic gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh are two of the best in the world to ever play women’s beach volleyball. The duo have dominated competitions at three consecutive summer olympics and have utilized meditation as a tool in helping them get there. Led by sports psychologist Michael Gervais, the olympians regularly practice meditation, yoga and visualization as a regular part of their training regiment.