Mumford’s deeply moving personal story is unforgettable. A basketball player at the University of Massachusetts (where he roomed with Dr. J, Julius Erving), injuries forced Mumford out of the game he loved. The meds that relieved the pain of his injuries also numbed him to the emptiness he felt without the game and eventually led him to heroin. After years as a functioning addict, Mumford enrolled in Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, and made meditation, on and off the cushion, the center of his life. He kicked drugs, earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology and began teaching meditation to inmates and others.
When Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls to play baseball in 1993, the team was in crisis. Coach Phil Jackson, a long-time mindfulness practitioner, contacted Dr. Kabat-Zinn to find someone who could teach mindfulness techniques to the struggling team—someone who would have credibility and could speak the language of his players. Kabat-Zinn led Jackson to Mumford and their partnership began. Mumford has worked with Jackson and each of the eleven teams he coached to become NBA champions. His roster of champion clients has since blossomed way beyond basketball to include corporate executives, Olympians, and athletes in many different sports.
With a charismatic teaching style that combines techniques of engaged mindfulness with lessons from popular culture icons such as Yoda, Indiana Jones, and Bruce Lee, Mumford tells illuminating stories about his larger than life clients. His writing is down-to-earth and easy to understand and apply. The Mindful Athlete is an engrossing story and an invaluable resource for anyone looking to elevate their game, no matter what the pursuit, and includes a foreword by Phil Jackson.
"Self-consciousness is when you’re focused on how you’re doing instead of what you’re doing. We have to learn how to push and challenge ourselves, but not in an insensitive way. Honing your performance really comes down to being comfortable with being uncomfortable."—George Mumford
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About the Author
A member of the basketball Hall of Fame, Phil Jackson is considered by many to be the greatest coach in the history of the NBA. He was head coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers and holds the record for the most championship wins as a player and a coach. Jackson currently serves as President of the New York Knicks.
Table of Contents
Introduction to the Paperback Edition 15
Foreword Phil Jackson 17
Introduction The Zone 25
Chapter 1 Ass on Fire: The Five Spiritual Superpowers 35
Chapter 2 Mindfulness: Eye of the Hurricane 65
Chapter 3 Concentration: Focused Awareness 99
Chapter 4 Insight: Know Thyself 143
Chapter 5 Right Effort: Forget Thyself 187
Chapter 6 Trust: The Space between the Thoughts 219