In the foreword to George Mumford’s new book The Mindful Athlete, Phil Jackson says, “A lot of athletes think the trick to getting better is just to work harder. But there is great power in non-action and non-thinking. The hardest thing, after all the work and all the time spent on training and technique, is just being fully present in the moment.”
This is somewhat controversial and unexpected. Obviously, athletes need to practice and try to push themselves to their limits in order to learn and progress in their respective sports. They must acquire certain skills and learn the ropes of the game in order to understand it in ways spectators couldn’t even imagine.Mumford later says, “When Michelangelo was asked how he created his masterpieces, he replied that all he did was chip away to get to the masterpiece that was already inside.