Meditation. Where to Begin.

Meditation. 

Where to even begin! 

There are many ways to meditate and many different kinds of meditation. Deciphering where to start with a meditation practice can be difficult. 

I am a huge fan of keeping things simple when you are just getting started with a meditation practice. 

When I start working with athletes I encourage them to use what is called a Concentration meditation. This type of meditation helps us “train” our attention and focus.  When we are practicing a Concentration meditation we use an anchor, such as the feeling of the body or the feeling of the breath. This anchor is the focal point for our attention. The goal here is to notice when we get distracted and then simply return back to our anchor. 

I also encourage my athletes (or anyone who is just getting started with meditation) to start small. Try a Concentration meditation practice for 2-3 minutes. In many ways training the brain is just like training other parts of...

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Why Mindfulness for an Athlete?

{As seen on and written for https://soccergrlprobs.com }

 

As I continue to navigate through my line of work and teaching Elite Athletes about Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga, I do my best to take the time to explain WHY these practices are so important.  

My response usually starts with a quote: 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. 

In that space is our power to choose our response. 

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” 

– Viktor Frankl

I found this quote about 2 months after being released from inpatient psychiatric care. At that point, I had spent almost a full year living panic attack to panic attack. I couldn’t work. I couldn’t leave my house most days. I was at a complete loss for how I was supposed to continue to live my life. When I eventually landed in inpatient care I felt like I had truly hit my rock bottom. I weathered that storm and when I made it out alive I made a...

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Mental Health in the Elite Athlete Community

This isn’t a new subject by any means. We’re seeing more and more professional athletes speak up and go public with their various struggles.  College Athletic Departments are putting more structure and programming in place to address mental health for their student athletes.  I believe were making progress, but we as an elite athlete community have a long way to go.  

In the field of Clinical Social Work, one of our jobs is to research and address social problems. A social problem is an alleged situation or widespread issue that affects a significant number of people.  Over the last few months my work has been dedicated to researching and addressing the social problem of mental health within the elite athlete community. 

Remove competitive sport from the scenario and mental health in general continues to be a widespread issue within the United States.  We’re living in a time where stress and anxiety are at an all time high. A...

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In a Time With So Much Uncertainty, Why Can’t Coaches and Athletes Afford to Skip Out On Taking Care of Their Minds?

 

We’re coming up on 7 months of this new normal. Since the cancellation of collegiate spring sports and various "Bubble" scenarios for pro leagues the Athletic Community is very much still navigating this new normal. 

 

We have already seen collegiate sports cut, budgets deflated and resources going towards a LOT of testing. Athletic staff's have restructured weight rooms and worked tirelessly to make sure that facilities are set up to maintain standards and protocols that put student athlete safety first. As if there were not already a plethora of demands placed on college athletes, having to maneuver through a season and the normal day to day among the COVID crisis is definitely an added task. 

 

There’s a lot to navigate here. 

 

Take COVID away and regular student athlete life is challenging enough. Time to simply get everything done academically, athletically, and socially is strained. There’s the added piece of...

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