Joining me on my Run Your Life podcast this week is George Mumford. He is arguably one of the greatest sports psychologists in the world based on the results he has achieved with his work. He has taught mindfulness and meditation to everyone from prison inmates to corporate executives to some of the most extraordinary athletes on the planet such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O Neal. He was also 11-time NBA championship head coach Phil Jackson’s right hand man during a run of 8 NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers.
George Mumford was referred to as Phil Jackson’s secret weapon and helped the Bulls and the Lakers reach a legacy defining run of championships over those years. In Phil Jackson’s own words, he has said, that "Time after time and team after team, I’ve seen athletes transformed and seen championships saved by players who believed in Mumford’s one mind, one breath efforts." A true testament to the impact of George Mumford’s work.
However, success did not come easy for George. During his career in high school and university, he was wracked with one debilitating injury after another which resulted in him developing an addiction to opioids which then led to a full on heroin and alcohol addiction that he grappled with for years.
After hitting rock bottom, George devoted himself to recovery by focusing on his healing from the inside out. It was during this time, he found the power of meditation and mindfulness, working alongside some of the most brilliant minds in the world in this field of study including renowned experts John Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg. George has now been clean for 39 years and has made it his life mission to teach and work with others helping them to find true fulfillment, meaning and purpose in their lives.
It’s no surprise he has impacted so many humans through his work including Michael Jordan who credits George with transforming his on court leadership with the Chicago Bulls
Kobe Bryant has also emphasized the impact of George’s work in many interviews and in his book ‘The Mamba Mentality’. He acknowledges George as a key figure in his mental training and personal development, often saying that his teachings and mindfulness techniques had a significant impact on his own ability to stay focused, maintain composure under pressure and perform at a high level.
George continues to share his work for free on his YouTube channel At Home with George and every few days he posts a video sharing deep insight into how meditation and mindfulness can be applied in anybody’s life regardless of what it is they are going through or pursuing in their life. You can find this series below.
In our conversation today, George and I unpack some of the key ideas embedded within his latest book including the power of mindfulness and ways to navigate through tough times in our life in a way that often leads to our greatest breakthroughs.
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