Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Spirituality of Coaching Sports

Perhaps at no other time have two different spiritual ideas come to the fore in the coaching strategies of a professional sports event as in this year's NBA Finals. The Lakers have been coached by Phil Jackson, who has long been known for his Buddhist approach to training, in which the emphasis is on meditative focus for each player to enter "the zone."

The Celtics's coach, Doc Rivers, has been promoting a motto/mantra for awhile now. But since the team is in the finals, the mantra/motto has been getting more press again. That mantra is "Ubuntu," which means roughly, 'I am what I am because of who we all are."

BTW: the concept got some press a few years ago when former President Bill Clinton encouraged western leaders to consider adopting it in their approach to leadership. Maybe the concept will get more play if the Celtics win...but I bet we'll just see it on t-shirts and caps.


katie said...

In your research, have you found that higher level athletes do utilize mantras, if not meditation? It strikes me that any "professional" seriously interested in excellence, would eventually arrive at the need to: get grounded, tap into a source of energy, get centered,dig deep... no?

Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...
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Searching Soul (a.k.a Darleen Pryds) said...

Yup, some do use a mantra or some kind of mental tool to focus. I think others may find a way to be able to focus through their whole bodies and not just through their minds. Here I'm thinking of Gabreille Roth, the ecstatic, mystical dancer...her work is pretty amazing....check it out if you haven't already....I think you'd like her work It's not at all mental, per se, but physical and sensual.
Let me know what you think if you look into her work.