After a phone call with the Seahawks’ Carroll and before his weekly meeting with a race-car driver, Gervais pulls his vehicle to the curb outside the DISC Sports and Spine Center in Marina del Rey, where he’s a partner. His cell phone on speaker, he settles into his seat for a quick meditation session. On the other end of the line is one of the world’s fastest swimmers, sitting on a couch in his L.A. apartment.
“Give your body permission to be present with this process,” Gervais says. “Deep breath in.... Out.... Pause at the bottom. There’s nowhere to go and nowhere to be, so allow yourself to be here right now.” Gervais has worked with the swimmer for several months on managing outside stressors that distract him in the pool. This is the first meditation session, which he knows can seem too soft for many athletes, too far removed from athletics. But it’s not about athletics anyway. That’s just the proving ground for how well they’re living. “Where does the amazing and beautiful take place? In the present moment,” he told me earlier. “If I can teach people how to be quiet in their minds, I’m going to increase their experiences of the beautiful and the amazing.”
As traffic zips by, Gervais talks the swimmer through his body, through the organs, into his mind. “Connect to that place in you that water cannot wet, that the wind cannot blow, and that fire cannot burn,” he says. “Without judgment, observe the activity of your mind by guiding your mind to one thing at a time. This is what it means to be present. Now allow every cell in your body to be open.”"
Mindful.org has as an interview in the Sports & Recreation section with sports psychologist and meditation teacher George Mumford titled: The Lakers Meditate?:
"For five years, George Mumford worked with NBA Championship team the Chicago Bulls, during the Michael Jordan years. He's also been involved with the Los Angeles Lakers. He's currently a sports psychologist and meditation teacher to many athletes and sports teams."
"I’ve worked with MJ (Michael Jordan), the Bulls, and Phil Jackson."
"I was a heroin addict for a long time, so I know. It’s a similar kind of high, but different. When you first meditate, you may feel good but it is not likely going to give you the same experience as certain drugs. When you take drugs, the drugs have an impact on your receptors and your endorphins. They are helping you experience something that you already have. They ignite and sensitize you to feeling your own endorphins. It’s internal. So the question is, how to develop that so you have other ways to access it? That’s when you have the experience of being in the zone."
Oprah.com posted a video on 16th June 2013 titled: How Legendary NBA Coach Phil Jackson Taught His Teams Mindfulness:
"Phil Jackson says that when he began coaching the Chicago Bulls—and later the Los Angeles Lakers—he used the Zen philosophy of mindfulness to help build both teams. Watch as Phil explains why that practice helped build mental strength, and find out what happened when he asked the most famous basketball player in the world to do tai chi, practice yoga, meditate and even play in the dark"
Miami Heat star LeBron James practices yoga, and in this video uses breathing regulation:
Nbcmiami.com posted an article about Miami Dolphins player, Ricky Williams, on 26th July 2010 titled: Ricky Williams Invites You to Meditate With Him:
"Every Wednesday, in a small, dark classroom on the campus of Nova Southeastern University, the most recognizable Miami Dolphin leads a class on meditation.
Ricky Williams says for him, meditation is like food. He needs it every day. Every morning and before every game. And now he's sharing his stress relieving philosophy with South Florida.
"This is my passion," said Williams. "I think a lot of people are so used to being stressed, they don't realize they're stressed. And I was one of those people."