Improving your performance using mindfulness

- By Dr. Di

If you want to do a better job on taking a test, interviewing for a job, or focusing on the paper that’s due, do what the Chicago Cubs do:  Practice mindfulness.  The team has a new kind of coach in addition to all the regular ones:  a mindfulness coach, as reported in the Chicago Tribune.  Professional ball players are mostly thought of as being self-assured, tough competitors, having everything it takes to win.  But their new coach, Bob Tewksbury, admits that these players have the same anxieties about performance that everyone has—feelings that they’ve been hesitant to talk about.

So, the Cubs have turned to mindfulness and meditation to calm their minds when the anxiety builds—when they’re up to bat or winding up for a pitch.  Daily team meditations are held, and each player has his own strategy for bringing himself into a state of calm awareness so he can do his very best.  It may involve tapping the bat a certain number of times or focusing his eyes on a particular spot in the bleachers as a kind of cue to relax.  Things we used to call superstitions can have the calming effect that is needed.  It works for the pros, and it can work for you.