Chad McGehee innovates mental training for Wisconsin Athletics

Published: May. 17, 2020 at 11:22 PM CDT
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Everyday athletes of all ages search for the latest training to make them bigger, faster and stronger. At the University of Wisconsin, they're adding "thinking more clearly" to that list by hiring Chad McGehee as the Director of Meditation Training.

"How many times have we heard coaches say things like you know, 'One play at a time, one point at a time? Just this swing. Just focus on this race.' But how are they teaching that? So this is the how to teach that." McGehee told me over Zoom.

When previously working for the Center for Healthy Minds in Madison, McGehee began meditation training four years ago with a group of retired NFL players. At first Chad was a skeptic himself, fearing that meditation wouldn't resonate with former athletes of one of the most aggressive sports.

"When we did it, we didn’t know if it's possible to train retired NFL guys in mindfulness and meditation. We just didn’t know if they would think its 'hippy dippy.' Out there, not OK stuff for them to be able to be doing. But for them to do it, and benefit from it, some of those guys were still on staff or had connections in the (Wisconsin) athletic department. They said, 'hey this is something that we’re benefiting from that they think current student athletes could benefit from.'

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