george mumford
jon kabat-zinn

Love and Football

When was the last time you associated mindfulness and the bone-crushing gridiron sport of football?
When was the last time you associated love and 22 men invoking the "eye of the tiger" with the concerted purpose to advance an inflated piece of pig skin across white lines 100 yards apart?

It happened earlier in the week in a conversation at Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco. Wonderfully facilitated by Jon Kabat-Zinn, with Michael Gervais and Pete Carroll, head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, the discussion took an unexpected turn when Jon invoked the "L" word.

Without hesitation, Pete Carroll talked about the love of a parent for his child, the unity in a family, the orchestration of eleven men on the playing field working in a unified, cohesive manor towards a common goal. It was an evocative exchange where Michael and Pete spoke clearly on their approach and love for the game and being in the present moment. Evidently Pete, Michael and their Seahawks are doing something right, having advanced to the Super Bowl two out of the last three years.

Meanwhile, across the bay in Oakland, the world of sports is experiencing another mindfully-induced, record-breaking phenomenon. The Golden State Warriors are in the midst of a phenomenal season. By any gauge, Steve Kerr's Warriors and superstar Steph Curry are "In The Zone.” It should be noted that Coach Steve Kerr is a George Mumford Alum. Yes Steve Kerr played for the Champion Chicago Bulls under the guidance of the Zen master, Phil Jackson. While playing for the Bulls, Steve Kerr worked with  George Mumford - who we are proud to have as an author on BetterListen!

While the Golden State Warriors evoke their team’s core values of mindfulness and compassion and the Seahawks use love as a secret power. It becomes apparent that this mindfulness meditation, once regarded as "woo woo",  has not only gone main-stream but is also effective and useful on the playing field, but more importantly in the game of life.

Reporting from The Zone -

Steve Stein

Here's a brief video from that event. (please excuse the production quality)