“When I’m pitching and I’m at my best, it’s like I’m all alone out there on the mound,” recalls Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher and World Series champion Barry Zito in an interview with Bob Roth on his Sirius XM radio show, “Success without Stress.”
Meditation helps to perform ‘at a core level’
“I feel like I’m in a bubble of serenity, going through my deliveries one at a time. All around me is craziness, even 60-feet away there’s something I could be fearful about—but I’m staying in that bubble of solitude and calm, which comes from my practice of Transcendental Meditation,” says Barry.
Growing up in a self-described “artistic, musical, and spiritual family,” Barry says he always knew the value of meditation. He chose to learn TM because of its simplicity.
“With Transcendental Meditation, there’s no pressure or regimen. You just sit there, think your mantra as you were taught by your TM teacher, and just relax, chill out. There is no wrong way to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique, and for me that’s the allure.”
Since beginning meditation in 2011, Barry says his practice has aided him in several foundational ways.
“TM helps at a core level. It’s like taking your vitamins so you don’t get sick instead of getting sick and then having to take some medicine to make the sickness go away. Meditation erases the stress before it can take hold. It gives me the perspective to not take angry comments by strangers personally,” Barry explains.
Barry’s baseball honors include being named recipient of the Cy Young Award in 2002 as the best pitcher in the American League, the Hutch Award in 2012 for his “fighting spirit to overcome adversity,” and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 2012 for his “high level of character and integrity.”
Recipe for life: Enjoy the things you’re doing at this very moment!
Along with his award-winning pitching career, Barry is an accomplished songwriter and guitarist and the founder of his own charity, “Strikeouts for Troops,” which provides funds to Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Barry took a sabbatical from baseball during the 2014 season to be with his wife and new-born son. But he’s working out daily in preparation for a return to Major League Baseball in 2015.
“My performance is driven by joy and fun. I tell myself, ‘This is going to be fun today.’ Rather than my play being based on fear, it’s based on love. Whenever it’s an experience based on love, it goes okay, win or loss,” Zito says.
“Being in the zone is about taking one pitch at a time and enjoying the act of pitching itself—not the destination of what it might bring. Pitching is the destination; writing the song is the destination; being creative is the destination,” Barry says.
“The tricky thing about being in the zone is when you become conscious of it, usually you’re not in it anymore… You have to let the zone come to you by being as present as possible, and having as much focus and concentration as possible — then, all of a sudden, you’re in the zone.”
This article was originally published on the website of the DLF:
“Baseball All-Star Barry Zito Reflects on Pitching, TM, and Life,” Bibi Tran