George Mumford: The Importance Of Mindfulness In Professional Sports

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Although many have not heard his name, George Mumford was the mastermind behind some of the NBA’s biggest moments. Although fans of the NBA (National Basketball Association) can recall the league's most exciting plays, many fail to see how Mumford’s lessons on mindfulness behind the scenes made them possible. Growing up George Mumford had the identical dream of thousands of kids across the United States; to play in the NBA. Unfortunately, he struggled with back problems early on in his college career, and later fought with alcohol addiction. These struggles forced Mumford to make his mark in the NBA in a different way. He started to study the concept of mindfulness under Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor of medicine and stress reduction, and soon became intrigued by its effect on athletes. Mindfulness, the act of increasing current situational awareness, strengthens mental focus and decreases emotional reactivity. This rapidly growing mindfulness phenomenon, is grasping the attention of people around the world. Although…show more content…
It is clear that mindfulness should be taught and practiced by all NBA teams because it aids the coping of pain, fear, and stress, it increases situational awareness, focus and resiliency and benefits the physical health of athletes. By reducing the size and functions of parts of the brain in charge of fear, mindfulness helps athletes stay calm, cool, and collected. Likewise, mindfulness changes the way the brain computes judgements, increasing awareness and resilience. Lastly, by increasing physical health, mindfulness supports an athletes ability to perform to their full potential. The growing wave of interest and curiosity about mindfulness is going to change the way that the NBA views health and performance and with the playoffs right around the corner the league is set for a mindful finish of the
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