Sunday night was all about the Seahawks and their 43-8 smack down, and it was a treat to watch the game in a local tavern in Olympia, Washington, just south of Seattle. Blues and greens were everywhere, and the resounding chants of one hyped-up fan yelling “Sea” and the amped crowd responding in unison with “hawks!” were just plain delightful to behold.
“I’ve been waiting over 20 years for this,” said my 28-year-old friend, who can easily be described as a “super fan,” between fist bumps, hugs, and high fives with other bar patrons.
I was especially intrigued when that same friend leaned in after the game was won and mentioned the mindfulness tactics employed by the Seattle Seahawks’ head coach, Pete Carroll. As has appeared in a handful of news stories, Coach Carroll incorporates meditation and yoga practices into his players’ physically demanding training regimen.
In fact, according to an ESPN report from late last year, his focus during his short time with the Seahawks has been to make the case for a more caring approach to football by building his coaching strategy around the idea that “happy players make for better players” (Roenigk, 2013).
Led by high-performance sports psychologist Mike Gervais, the Seahawks engage in both group meditations and visualizations as well as individual meditation sessions. Practices start with instructions such as, “quiet your minds,” “focus your attention inwardly,” and “visualize success” (Roenigk, 2013).
Quarterback Russell Wilson, who shared in an earlier interview about his faith in God guiding much of his ability and success (CBS Seattle, 2013), is known to partake in weekly meditation sessions with Gervais (Roenigk, 2013). The overall idea is to promote the mindset that physical and mental health and well-being should be nurtured and valued in the players, along with their exceptional athletic abilities, of course. (MORE)