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How Coaches Can Teach Mindfulness To Their Athletes

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PCA National Advisory Board Member Dacher Keltner is a Psychology Professor and the Director of the Greater Good Science Center (@GreaterGoodSC) at UC-Berkeley. Keltner is most famous in the sports world for his study on NBA teams, when he identified a link between positive, supportive ‘touching’ (such as high-fives) and success on the court. Keltner is also a published author, most recently publishing The Power Paradox.

In this video, Keltner advises coaches on how they can teach their athletes mindfulness, by focusing on breath. Coaches can teach athletes to have awareness of their bodies as they breath, they can have them go through exercises that mimic the experience of tension and relaxation, and can have them think intentionally about how they might be kind to others. To Keltner, when coaches teach athletes mindfulness, it is the easiest and cheapest way to teach athletes how to gain control of their mind.