15th April 2016

Kobe Bryant: The retiring NBA star and the art of ‘Poise’.

Here’s a question: Are you dictating the day or working with what comes up?

Basketball player and 5 times NBA champion Kobe Bryant has just retired after 20 years of playing for the LA Lakers. I’m not a great basketball fan but I’ve been interested in his connection with mindfulness for a while now. For Kobe, mindfulness sets him up for the day:

I am set and ready for what comes my way. I have a calmness and a poise and that comes from starting my day with meditation.

What’s interesting to me about this clip of Kobe is that he starts by saying that his daily meditation practice helps him dictate the day, but then corrects himself to suggest instead that mindfulness helps him deal with whatever comes up. For me this sense of working with what the day offers rather than imposing ones self on what’s happening is an important difference.

Over the past few months I’ve been working with Sedbergh School students who have undertaken the ‘.b’ Mindfulness in Schools course. For some it’s been helpful to explore how they relate to their minds; for example to realize that ‘thoughts are not facts’. For others mindfulness will have provided a means of anchoring and settling themselves at times of pressure and stress, such as when undertaking exams, performances or sporting challenges. There will be some who will take what Mindfulness offers further and continue a daily practice. Maybe they too will tap into this sense of poise that Kobe talks about.

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