The Mindful Athlete – George Mumford Book Summary

The Mindful Athlete – George Mumford | Free Book Summary

The Mindful Athlete – George Mumford

Filling yourself with love and awareness removes space for distractions, negativity, and noise. This is the zone you want to be in if you want to be a mindful athlete.

Life is only available in the present moment

This is the central tenet of Buddhism. There are five ancient superpowers to help you achieve what you want.

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  • Faith
  • Diligence
  • Mindfulness
  • Concentration
  • Insight.

These are much like the Noble Eightfold Path of Lord Buddha.

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These five are nonlinear. They are a multiplicative series (not an additive one) and if you take one away the rest fall apart

Peak Potential

Mindfulness helps us reach our peak potential and be our best selves.


You can practice mindfulness meditation by sitting still, focusing on your breathing, and practicing “bare awareness”: staying aware of what’s going on in your mind and body at the present moment.


We’re constantly surrounded by distractions. Our minds jump from topic to topic like a monkey swinging from branch to branch. The monkey mind is hard to control, but you can pacify it by practicing Buddhism. And once you reach a high state of self-control, you’ll find yourself in the zone.

Your Breath

Concentrate by focusing only on your breathing


You can enter a state of relaxation by controlling your breathing. Think of the space between an inhalation and an exhalation as your inner center, where your watcher watches everything.


Our breathing works in tandem with two other parts of our autonomous nervous system. 

  • First is the sympathetic system, which is activated by fear, anxiety, and stress.
  • The second is the parasympathetic system. It releases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which lowers our heart rate and makes us more relaxed.

Look at your thoughts

Insight is about understanding your own thoughts and the impact they have on your life.

Examining the thoughts behind your habits is like looking under the hood of your car rather than just staring at the dashboard.

Everyone has a unique collection of emotional blueprints that include their insecurities and other negative emotions. It’s important to be aware of them because the negative ones can build up and burst out into negative actions. Practicing mindfulness means letting go of who you think you are. So accept negative emotions like anger or resentment for what they truly are: fleeting distractions that shouldn’t define you.

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, lost almost 300 games. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. That’s why I succeeded.

The Right Effort

The right effort is about focusing on the journey and letting the situation you’re in run its course.

Bruce Lee is a famous example. Martial artists like Lee use their intuition to connect with the Zone. They focus on the journey, not the final destination.


So when your actions align with wholesome, positive thoughts like love, kindness, compassion, and generosity, that’s the right kind of effort for your path.

Inner Divinity

Unlock your full potential by trusting yourself and your inner divinity

Faith is related to the concept of “God” a word that means different things to different people. But the idea of God is really about trusting the divinity within yourself. 

We all have it and we have the potential to awaken it. It doesn’t come from the external environment; you find it by looking within.


Trusting in yourself instead of looking for guidance from others fosters your own self-efficacy. Mindfulness allows you to connect with higher forms of consciousness, and you can build a strong spiritual foundation by practicing it.

The intention is incredibly important

It gives you the right type of energy and motivation to push through and succeed. Attention always follows intention, and you have to put out into the universe what you want to receive. Keep listening to yourself, your body, your thoughts, and your emotions, but listening deeply to others is just as important a skill. It helps in finding your intention and in helping others.

The best teams are inwardly focused

Teams are optimizing for flow and optimal cooperation rather than simply beating the other team. It is a “we” mindset rather than a “me” mindset and one that is focused on growth rather than the outcome. 

Right effort heightens energy rather than detracts from it – it allows you to be present and to become one with those who are working with you on the task at hand.

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