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An Athlete is an Artist who wants to bring the JOY of their FEELINGS through the ACTIVITY of their BODY."© Colli Christante

There is a wonderful paradox in Buddhism about losing yourself in order to find yourself. Enlightenment can only be reached when one surrenders the ego to a higher power, surrenders individual goals to the greater good. One can play on the word "goals" here, for the new trend in coaching is to encourage athletes to do exactly the same as a monk. Phil Jackson works from the premise that "When a player surrenders his self-interest for the greater good, his fullest gifts as an athlete are manifested...When players are totally focused on the team goal, their efforts can create chain reactions...Selflessness is the soul of teamwork." It's what makes the difference, Jackson argues, between an unsuccessful team with many talented players who cling to individual glory, and a successful team with average players who don't.

This need to lose oneself in the game in order to win it also works in solo competitions. As Dr. Gio Valiante, a Rollins College psychology professor who works with pro golfers, states, "Someone who plays to impress others or prove something will have too many external thoughts to truly focus. The player who plays to learn, improve and excel is fully involved in the process and its details. That's a player who can get into the zone and be more fulfilled."

Today at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics we witnessed the display of  grace and graciousness of  Alexandre Bilodeau an athlete who truly Owns the Zone.

Congratulations to Alexandre Bilodeau for winning Canada’s first Gold on home land! / Félicitations à Alexandre Bilodeau pour avoir gagné la première médaille d‘or du Canada à la maison!


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