“The Seahawks’ secret weapon might be the team’s willingness to give a sports psychologist the freedom to roam the training facility, locker room and even the sidelines every game, to make sure their heads are as sound as their bodies,” Matthew Futterman writes in the Wall Street Journal this week.
Michael Gervais, a sport psychologist with a strong background in mindfulness, is a key figure in head coach Pete Carroll’s mission to improve focus and inspire peak performance. Carroll asks his players to go inside—to find the confidence to be the best they can be. He coaches the whole person, and it changes the players’ view of the game.
“Our system is designed to allow players to be the best they possibly can be. That’s why we celebrate uniqueness, their individuality,” Carroll told Mindful magazine in “The Game Changer“—Mindful‘s December 2014 issue cover story.
“They have to act with the team, but they can do that in a way that illuminates who they are. Most people think you can’t do that. They say there’s no space for people to be individuals within a team. I think just the opposite.”
Take a look at how Carroll and Gervais are changing NFL culture.
[Photograph: Associated Press]