The Mindful Athlete Book Summary - The Mindful Athlete Book explained in key points
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The Mindful Athlete summary

George Mumford

Secrets to Pure Performance

4.3 (161 ratings)
14 mins

Brief summary

The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford is a practical guide for athletes seeking to improve their performance through mindfulness. It offers ways to cultivate mental game and stay present in the moment, leading to better performance and overall well-being.

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    The Mindful Athlete
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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can discover your superpowers.

    People find enlightenment in different ways. Some travel to India; others do yoga. For George Mumford, the author, it was the pain of hitting rock bottom that drove him to discover mindfulness and, as a result, his own superpowers. Here’s his story:

    In middle school, Mumford was a talented basketball player. He seemed poised for a professional career. And then he got injured while training. Instead of letting his body recover, however, he kept playing; this wore down his body, and ruined his shot at a career in professional sports.

    So instead of playing for the NBA, he abandoned his dream and went to the University of Massachusetts, where he studied finance. Since childhood, he’d known only one way to deal with pain, whether emotional or physical: drown it in alcohol. To fight the chronic pain caused by his injuries, as well as the emotional pain caused by his compromised dreams, he began self-medicating. And his medicine of choice was Seagram’s Seven whiskey.

    Mumford didn’t smoke cigarettes or pot because he was concerned about how they would affect his physical growth, so when he started taking drugs, he went straight for heroin instead.

    In 1984, he got a severe staph infection. Mumford calls this his Ass On Fire situation, or AOF. His AOF pushed him to finally make a change, so he joined his first twelve-step program: Alcoholics Anonymous.

    His AA program was where he was first introduced to mindfulness, which, in the ‘80s, was called “stress management.” Through yoga and meditation, he learned to listen to his body instead of dulling his pain with drugs.

    For years, Mumford continued practicing mindfulness at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and eventually left his job as a financial analyst to devote himself to teaching mindfulness to others.

    That’s how Mumford came to develop the concept of the five superpowers: mindfulness, concentration, insight, right effort and trust. In the following blinks, we’ll look at each one.

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    What is The Mindful Athlete about?

    The Mindful Athlete (2015) explains how to unlock your hidden “superpowers” by practicing mindfulness. When you learn how to channel your own inner divinity, you’ll reach your peak performance – in sports or in any other field.

    The Mindful Athlete Review

    The Mindful Athlete (2015) by George Mumford is a book that introduces the concept of mindfulness and its impact on athletic performance. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with insights and strategies, it offers practical techniques that athletes can implement to improve their focus, resilience, and overall performance.
    • By sharing his experiences working with top athletes, Mumford provides real-life examples that demonstrate the power of mindfulness in overcoming obstacles and achieving success.
    • The book goes beyond sports and explores mindfulness as a way of life, making it relevant to anyone looking to enhance their mental well-being and performance in any area.

    Best quote from The Mindful Athlete

    I also came to realize that you couldn´t solve problems with the same consciousness that created them.

    —George Mumford
    example alt text

    Who should read The Mindful Athlete?

    • Athletes who want to improve their mental focus
    • Anyone interested in mindfulness and meditation
    • People who want to achieve top performance at work

    About the Author

    George Mumford is the sports psychology consultant for the Boston College men’s basketball team and the meditation coach to the LA Lakers. A public speaker, he’s shared his famous techniques with a number of NBA teams and coached athletes in other sports as well.

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    The Mindful Athlete FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Mindful Athlete?

    The main message of The Mindful Athlete is that mindfulness can enhance athletic performance and overall well-being.

    How long does it take to read The Mindful Athlete?

    The reading time for The Mindful Athlete varies, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Mindful Athlete a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Mindful Athlete is worth reading because it offers practical guidance on combining mindfulness and sports for optimal performance.

    Who is the author of The Mindful Athlete?

    The author of The Mindful Athlete is George Mumford.

    What to read after The Mindful Athlete?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Mindful Athlete, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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