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Explained: Why LeBron James meditates during games

Lakers star LeBron James was seen calmly breathing with his eyes closed with one minute left vs the Utah Jazz. Why? The answer is simple: He was likely centering himself, something he’s gotten in the habit of.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James places a priority on his health to an extent that is arguably unparalleled in the sports world, paying attention to both his physical and mental fitness and overall well-being.

His commitment to those areas is one key part to his overall success and longevity. One way he reinforces that mental health is through meditation, a topic he has spoken about multiple times, including how it helped him get through the NBA bubble during the 2020 COVID19 pandemic-stricken season:

“Meditating helps a lot for me personally with taking a lot of deep breaths, closing my eyes and just centering myself and listening to my inner self... That definitely is something that keeps me sane in the bubble.”

Further, he’s also one of the biggest name users and first endorsers of the Calm App, which emphasizes improving mental health and stress/anxiety reduction through the use of meditation and mindfulness techniques.

Through the years, we’ve seen LeBron actually go into a meditative-like state while on the bench; most recently during the Lakers matchup vs the Utah Jazz on February 17th. In the following video, I explained the benefits of doing so for LeBron, and how it could lead to greater on-court performance.

With how the Lakers’ season has fared, and the team basically quitting vs the New Orleans Pelicans — capped off by THAT pass from DeAndre Jordan, anyone who saw it knows exactly what I’m talking about — every Lakers fan would probably do well to channel their inner LeBron, and use any method they can to find some calm and clarity.

Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT has a doctorate in physical therapy from Northern Arizona University, and runs his own in-person and online sports medicine and performance business, 3CB Performance, in West LA and Valencia, CA in which he further combines his movement expertise and fitness training. He also works at a hospital — giving him experience with patients in the immediate healthcare setting and neurological patients (post stroke, post brain injury) — and has been practicing for 4 years. Brar is additionally training at UCLA’s mindful awareness research center (MARC), has a background in youth basketball coaching and analyzes the Lakers from a medical and skills perspective for Silver Screen and Roll and on his own YouTube Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @3cbPerformance.