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Mindful : August 2014
Teamwork, communication, health, well-being—all are fostered by team spor ts. Here are tips from two mindful coaches to help the teen athlete in your life to excel while maintaining a healthy perspective on winning and losing. Let go of the outcome “Pay attention to what will give you your best performance,” says Jason Dorland, former Olympic rower and high school coach. “That includes training, technique, diet, sleep, and mindfulness practices. Always strive to improve—that’s the fun par t. It’s the self-discovery. The moment when you think: Wow, I’m capable of more.” Know where you are “Mindful exercises teach kids to be more aware,” says Atman Smith, yoga and athletics instructor and co-founder of the Holistic Life Foundation. “In basketball, for example, you can’t always look to deliver a pass to a teammate—you need to use your peripheral vision, or listen to their voice, or just feel things moving around you.” Build a culture of love “When athletes feel trusted, they’re willing to go places they haven’t gone before,” Dorland says. “And whether they win or lose, it’s inconsequential. If you feel safe to lose, you ultimately per form better.” Have a good time “The coach needs to create an environ- ment that’s surprising, challenging, and fun to be around,” says Smith. “Then the kids will want to be there.” Dorland agrees: “I think the more you shake it up, the better. Let the kids try whatever activity they enjoy that develops their athleticism, even if it’s outside their primar y spor t.” ● School Sports: Performance v. Winning OVERHEARD “I just started meditating in January.... I’m pretty into it. Once or twice a day, I meditate. That has been the best thing for my mind...I get so anxious privately.’’ Emma Stone, actor (Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2) August 2014 mindful 15 August 2014 mindful 15 Illustration by Gavin Potenza ILLUSTRATIONBYDAVIDPADROSAFROMTHENOUNPROJECT