Rising NBA Star Aaron Gordon Uses Mental Training App to Grow His Game - NBC Bay Area
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Rising NBA Star Aaron Gordon Uses Mental Training App to Grow His Game

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    A rising star in the National Basketball Association is in search of the perfect balance of mind, body and soul. Colin Resch reports. (Published Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017)

    A rising star in the National Basketball Association is in search of the perfect balance of mind, body and soul.

    Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic, who graduated from San Jose's Archbishop Mitty High School, is behind a new mental training app for athletes.

    The 22-year-old Gordon is best known for his epic dunk contest with fellow rising NBA star Zach Lavine in 2016.

    Gordon credits his physical success on the basketball court from his mental preparation off of it.

    In a meditative state, the former Bay Area high school basketball star can hear it all and see it all.

    "There's a presence about it. There's a calming. There's a poise. There's a foundation. There's a reliability on mindfulness that I'd like to carry with me," Gordon said. "I'd like people to know that's where my confidence comes from."

    And ultimately, Gordon said he "would love to be known as a mindful athlete."

    If he is not there already, Gordon certainly is well on his way.

    Mental skills coach Graham Betchart first met Gordon when he was 11. He started mentoring at 13.

    "Working with him he's the greatest student I've ever worked with," Betchart said. "I feel like we have a relationship where I'm teaching him, but he also teaches me."

    Due to Gordon's schedule both in-season and off-season, Betchart does not see Gordon as often as he used to. But his voice is just a fingertip swipe away thanks to the app.

    Betchart and Gordon are also business partners in Lucid, a mental training app for athletes. Gordon is now able to carry Betchart's mindfulness instruction, whever he goes.

    A look inside Orlando's locker room pregame and chances are you'll see Gordon on his phone and meditating.

    "There's a lot of things you can meditate before the game so when you get to the game, you feel like you've already played," Gordon said. "You feel like you've already won."

    But does this all work? Statistically, for Gordon at least, the proof is in the numbers.

    Gordon in high school shot 30 percent from the free throw line. Now in the NBA and with his meditating routine, he shoots 70 percent from the free throw line.

    "It's not a quick fix. It's not an overnight thing," Gordon said. "So slowly people will see just how good of a basketball player that I am -- how great of a basketball player that I am."

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