It is well known that the “mental side” of sports is an important aspect of optimum performance. It also is well know that typically, very little time and attention is invested in this practice. It was not until the 1990's that mental training gained significant attention from the success of basketball coach Phil Jackson (11 national championships with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers). Mindfulness practice for performance enhancement had proven to be a huge success. I base my approach to performance enhancement on the work of several people and use the program published by Kaufman, Glass, and Pineau (2018) in their book, Mindful Sports Performance Enhancement, which describes their 6 session protocol.
In my early teenage years my love of being in the wilderness drew me to backpacking which led me to mountaineering and cross country skiing. For nearly 20 years I was a devout rock and ice climber, which was the perfect crucible to show me the importance of the “head game”. Later, I became absorbed in cross country ski racing and found new ways that the head game can help or hinder performance.
In my internship at a veterans hospital I was introduced to mindfulness practice for various needs in mental health.
Rock climbing and mountaineering insisted on it, but it had never occurred to me that this sort of focused attention was useful in other areas of life. When I heard about the Mindfulness Sports Performance Enhancement (MSPE) approach it immediately made sense and I began attending their workshops to learn their protocol.
Although written about since the 1950s*, mindfulness training in sports gained widespread notoriety in the 1990s with basketball coach “Zen Master” Phil Jackson’s remarkable string of NBA championship wins (11) with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. The research by Jon Kabat-Zinn on sports performance, chronic illness, and stress began the now growing body of science on the effectiveness of mindfulness practices.
The biggest obstacle to mindfulness practice is actually getting ourselves to do it.
This course will train mindfulness fundamentals and help you “embrace process over outcome, and reach new heights in achievement and satisfaction.”
Chauncey Parker, PhD, is a long time athlete and coach. From grade school to current, Chauncey excelled in baseball, track and field (high jump), rock and ice climbing and mountaineering, and cross country ski racing. He has many first ascents in climbing, coached for the Far West Nordic ski association and the University of Nevada-Reno cross country ski team, and currently is a level 3 Nordic ski instructor and examiner on the Professional Ski Instructors Association Education Team. This course combines his experience as an athlete and coach with his training and experience as a psychologist and meditation and yoga instructor to help you attain your goals in your chosen pursuits. The MSPE program is applicable to all performance endeavors.