Kobe Bryant: Spiritual Grounding in Sports

Kobe_Bryant_8Kobe Bryant, the basketball star who died earlier this week in a helicopter crash, practiced meditation regularly for years.  He revealed the power of meditation for him in a 2015 interview with Oprah, stating, “It’s like having an anchor.  If I don’t do it, I feel like I’m constantly chasing the day.”

Bryant, inspired by Michael Jordan, learned meditation in order to improve his game from sports psychologist George Mumford.  Meditation helped Bryant focus and get “in the flow” and perform better.

After his retirement, Bryant toured Asia in 2016 with two purposes, to experience a meditation retreat and to inspire youth in sports.  His Asia tour reinforced the importance of meditation in his life and in his service to the next generation.

Kobe Bryant was not the only professional athlete to discover the power of meditation.  In addition to Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, basketball star Lebron James, baseball shortstop Derek Jeter, beach volleyball duo Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, and the Seattle Seahawks, to name but a few, have attributed their ability to get “in the flow” and enhance their performance to meditation.

Furthermore, a 2017 study by University of Miami psychology professor Amishi Jha demonstrated that one doesn’t need to perform at the level of professional athlete or long-time meditator in order to reap the benefits of meditation in sports.  Her study showed that even four weeks of meditation could improve the mental state of college football players.

Kobe Bryant and many others have experienced the power of meditation, and serve as examples for the rest of us who desire to lead spiritually grounded lives.  In addition, numerous studies show the beneficial effects of meditation on one’s life and work, not only in sports but also in other arenas.

Yet such studies raise further questions: Is the purpose of meditation to increase success in life and work? Should meditation be pursued for utilitarian ends?  Does using meditation to achieve one’s personal goals corrupt an ancient spiritual practice?

Overwhelming evidence supports the value of meditation.  At the same time, the further questions are important.  In next month’s blog, I will explore these further questions.

1 Response to “Kobe Bryant: Spiritual Grounding in Sports”



  1. 1 Meditation for Utilitarian Ends? | Executive Soul Blog Trackback on February 26, 2020 at 8:20 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s





%d bloggers like this: