Depending on where you are in the world, the word “football” has different meanings. In most of the world, football means soccer. Football might make you think of the excitement of the World Cup.
In America, football makes you think about touchdowns, tackles and possibly tailgates. Maybe the roar of a crowd, a marching band playing, and a last-minute field goal that wins the game.
When you think about football, European or American, you probably don’t think about meditation. But because of J.J. McCarthy, the quarterback of The University of Michigan, you definitely should.In postgame interviews, articles, and podcasts, McCarthy often shares how his meditation practice helps him on and off the field.
He credits meditation with:
∙Strengthening his mind
∙Giving him focus and the ability to be in the moment
∙Keeping him calm in high stress environments (like football games)
∙Helping him lead his team
Young children don’t often have an all-star athlete as a role model to inspire and encourage them to meditate. But now in J.J. McCarthy, they do. Here are three things we believe J.J. McCarthy can teach kids about meditation:
Meditating seems best when done in a quiet spot: by a lake, in a forest, or on a mountaintop. Places kids can’t exactly get to on a regular basis. It’s important that kids can see where J.J. McCarthy is often photographed meditating: sitting next to the goal posts in football stadiums. His ability to tune out the noise and the crowds is a good lesson for children who may need to meditate in a chaotic cafeteria, on the school bus, or in a hospital room with bright lights and a lot of beeping machines.
Like McCarthy, kids can learn that they can find quiet, within themselves, regardless of where they are.
In this post-pandemic world, everyone seems to be more stressed and anxious. Kids are often in places or situations that cause stress and anxiety. This might mean they are afraid going to school. It might mean that they are worried about the smaller things, that aren’t small to them, like taking tests, dealing with unkind kids in the classroom or not having a friend at recess.
Then there are the much bigger things like waiting in a hospital for a medical procedure like an MRI, navigating the sadness and grief of their parents’ divorce, or the loss of a loved one or beloved pet.
Meditation helps kids find a calm center that gets them through hard times. Meditation teaches kids that there is a place they can go, someone they can always turn to, for calm and reassurance. That place and that person is themselves, and they discover this through meditation.
It’s often said that the mind is a muscle that needs its own form of exercise. Meditating is like taking your mind on a run or to the gym to lift some weights. Research proves, time and time again that
those who meditate have better focus, more resilience, a better ability to cope, stronger immunity and an overall sense of positivity and well-being than those who don’t. From calming anxiety, easing symptoms of ADHD, to helping children focus on lessons and learning, meditation gives kids a strong foundation for building the future they want.
Kids will always aspire to be astronauts, fire fighters, and all-star athletes. Every child needs a hero who inspires courage, creativity, and leadership. J.J. McCarthy is a wonderful role model for the littlest meditators. He shows them how to use meditation as a tool to help them achieve their goals, like he does, on and off the field.
Wee Meditate teaches meditation in a storybook world to all children and especially kids with anxiety, specific needs, and chronic illnesses.
Select a membership today to begin your child’s meditation journey.