The Letter to Andre Johnson
Dear Andre Johnson,
1st I want to thank you so much for all the joy you’ve brought to Houston.
2nd I want to tell you that if you are authentically not having fun playing football. It’s ok to feel that way.
I’d actually suggest that you pick up meditation if you haven’t already. I used to teach meditation for free up north up here at the community center here in Old Town Spring. I say I "used to" because my schedule has been so up in the air for the last year and half I just haven’t felt comfortable making weekly promises that I’ll be somewhere and then have to break that promise.
And if you’re just not having fun any more, Andre, – you’re right to ask yourself if this is the right place for you to be.
I’d also suggest that you pick up Panache Desai’s 33 day soul signature book.
The background on what I envisioned for The Texans
Back before Wade Phillips joined The Texans, I had this vision of The Texans – the entire organization making time every day at "work" to do Tai Chi together. I envisioned this would show that from the owner down to the coaches, players, and the water boy – the entire Texans organization is "in it together" and "on the same page". And I knew that Tai Chi was so gentle that even someone of Mr. McNair’s "age" could do it with the team. So Texan wide Tai Chi was my first wish for The Texans.
I had wanted to write an article about that crazy idea back then but I never got a "round tuit" ;-) (Nor around to it). So the idea floundered. Then The Texans went 12- 4 and I figured they had it all together – so no need for my whacked out ideas.
Then The Texans totally fell apart. And now my beloved Andre Johnson is questioning whether the Houston Texans (or possibly Houston) is the right place for him. So I just made sure to find my "round tuit" and get this "article" started. This brings me to . . .
My 2nd wish for The Texans
would be that they copycat the absolute most important habit that the Seattle Seahawks "trade secret" and that is mediation.
I submit to you the following articles that resulted from googling
"did the seattle seahawks meditation"
Where meditation was suggested to me as I wrote the above question into Google.
I really recommend dropping by that link and reading the article.
Here’s a snippet – food for thought:
"This is the Pete Carroll experience we always hear about. After flaming out as an NFL head coach, Carroll rebuilt his rep as an ultracompetitive buddy coach at USC. But beneath the perpetual smile was a guy who thought, more than anything, there was a better way to win. Meditation is only part of it. After Carroll was fired by the Patriots following the 1999 season, he agonized over what he'd do differently if he landed another NFL head-coaching job. Almost every day for the better part of a decade, while leading Southern Cal to seven top-10 finishes and one BCS title, he jotted down do-over notes. His dream was to fundamentally change the way players are coached. The timeworn strategy is, of course, to be a hard-ass -- think Bear Bryant banning water breaks, Vince Lombardi screaming and yelling, Mike Rice throwing basketballs at players' heads, Nick Saban berating his team on the sideline. Carroll craved a chance to reimagine the coaching role in the NFL. "I wanted to find out if we went to the NFL and really took care of guys, really cared about each and every individual, what would happen?" "
Implications of the snippet
Now after reading that snippet, think about this past draft. Did Pete Carroll look the least bit concerned about picking last? No. He even traded back many times. Did he seem concerned about getting "the dregs" of the draft? Not at all. He seemed confident that he could get the talent from the later rounds and just like their MVP Malcom Smith who was drafted in the 7th round. Or how about Richard Sherman who was taken 23rd in the 5th round
where all the OTHER teams find their best CB talent.?
How about Derrick Coleman who was an UDFA for the Seahawks? And he’s deaf.
Maybe you’ve seen the Duracell commercial:
Are the Seahawks just that damn good at scouting talent? Or is meditation their "secret weapon"? I honestly don't know but I'd be willing to find out if it helps.
Maybe the Seahawks don’t rely on luck in the draft. Maybe they use mediation to help them make their "luck".
Another snippet from the ESPN article:
" For now, though, the next step is getting everybody on the meditation bandwagon. "Meditation is as important as lifting weights and being out here on the field for practice," Okung says. "It's about quieting your mind and getting into certain states where everything outside of you doesn't matter in that moment. There are so many things telling you that you can't do something, but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them and change them.""
That's actually a little more aggressive language than I would have used to describe the process but maybe in this instance Okung knows his audience -- hard hitting football players.
Or how about this article from ABC
The video on that link seems unrelated so just read the article underneath if you manage to follow the link.
" A regular mindfulness practice also appeared to shrink the more emotionally reactive spots in the brain that tend to plump up in response to chronic stress.
By halting negative thinking and replacing it with sunnier thoughts while in training, players learn to carry a more positive attitude onto the gridiron, Gervais said. This can also translate into direct physical advantages as well. For example, Gervais said the time players devote to sitting on a meditation cushion with their eyes closed has taught many of them how to slow their heart rates during the intensity of play."
Here is another supporting article from the blog on Psychology Today
"Quarterback Russell Wilson, who shared in an earlier interview about his faith in God guiding much of his ability and success (CBS Seattle, 2013), is known to partake in weekly meditation sessions with Gervais. "Support staff" are also on call if any of the players is going through a difficult time or facing a personal challenge and needs to talk (Roenigk, 2013).
The overall idea is to promote the mindset that physical and mental health and well-being should be nurtured and valued in the players, along with their exceptional athletic abilities, of course.
Particularly in light of reports in recent years that reveal the potential dangers football players face with regard to head injuries—specifically concussions and a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, as well as the belief that suicidal ideation may be related to such injuries (Park, 2010; Fish, 2012; Neporent, 2013)—a more conscientious approach may be just what the sport needs to continue progressing without provoking long-term health consequences for some of its players."
In light of Andre Johnson’s struggle with whether he wants to play football for The Texans any more, I think exploring meditation and encouraging the players to encourage meditation is an awesome idea.
For Andre Johnson, if he were my student, I’d also suggest that he pick up a copy of Panache Desai’s Discovering Your Soul Signature. And then I’d suggest that he take advantage of the free 33 day lessons that Panache is offering at
Panache Desai’s mediations are excellent and his insights are not "woo woo" at all. His insights are "down to earth". Basically this frustration has been plaguing Johnson and as a competitor – I suspect that he KNOWS the answers he should be getting. But he doesn’t authentically feel cheerful, positive about the future, etc. So that’s where Panache Desai comes in b/c he gently guides you through those emotions so that they are no longer "blocking" your progress.
And another awesome resource for Andre might be Carol Tuttle’s free energy profile course at
Where Carol Tuttle shows us how we each can discover our own energy profile and then when you know who you are can decide what you want.
But given Andre’s limited time, I’d suggest Panache Desai’s Soul Signature book and lessons before going to Carol Tuttle’s Energy Profile.
Tai Chi and Meditation are awesome tools. In my mind, the group Tai Chi could be a team building thing. The Seahawks are doing Yoga and Meditation -- not a huge difference to me. But Tai Chi is very choreographed and designed for balance and blocking attackers.
This may not be the letter anyone else would write to Andre Johnson and The Texans but it's the one I really wanted them to consider.
With much love,
Adding a 4:39 min video showing a lady doing the 24 form Tai Chi -- from start to finish. It's deceptively fluid and can of course be modified to fit your own athletic ability. But if you project your imagination into the video, you could see how it might benefit the football players . . . balance, flexibility, etc.
Ok I saw a related video that was a nice demonstration of just how the simple Tai Chi moves translate into self defense.