Meditation for Performance and Well-being

After years of experience in high performance Olympic sport, we knew there was a way to make winning and performance success more meaningful. We have seen where win-at-all-cost sport cultures and systems do not provide optimum conditions for participants to realize their best selves. High incidence of burnout, dropout, discrimination, eating disorders, anxiety and mental health challenges, do not allow sport to live up to its true potential.

Knowing the demands of high performance, we sketched out an approach that re-imagines winning in sport through a mindfulness-based, purpose-driven performance lifestyle.

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. – Pierre de Coubertin

Having a greater sense of purpose will organize and give meaning to almost everything you do allowing you to pursue your goals with grit. Combined with the scientifically-proven benefits of mindfulness, you can stay true to your talents and wisdom, ensuring you fight well.

You can win shallow (win at all costs), narrow (winning is everything) or short (winning as a short-lived experience); or you can win deep (how you win matters), wide (winning with broader perspective and impact) and long (winning as part of a life-long journey). Our choices make a difference on the quality of the outcomes. When we combine this with winning kind, positive, grateful, humble and strong, we have all the ingredients for winning with purpose. 

Our Approach

Winning performances at the highest levels is a complex process that requires extensive planning and meticulous implementation. Nothing happens by chance. The task becomes making as many of the unknowns, known regardless of where they might come from, including within ourselves.

Using mindfulness-based approaches, we cultivate performance skills in attention, awareness, and compassion – critical not just to optimizing performance, but also to improving health and well-being. We deliver this cutting-edge training by using our Edge (attention), Power (awareness) and Agility (compassion) framework; representing language and an approach that resonates with high performance athletes and sport teams.

Attentional muscles are our EDGE which sustains our focus to play present and be disciplined. The mentally fit performer knows how to lead their thoughts and emotions, and not be led by them.

Awareness is our POWER to hold a brave space for emotions and allowing them to show up. We show resilience in being responsive & instinctive, and less emotionally reactive.

Agility is our STABILITY cultivated from a place of compassion, joy positivity, gratitude and knowing our strengths shifting our motivation from a place of fear of self-criticism towards a love of self-improvement.

A performance of the first water is a performance of the greatest clarity, resilience, and ability to flow under pressure; an allusion to the former system of grading diamonds by their water, which ought to be that of the clearest drop of water.

We have an inner game and an outer game. We often focus our attention on managing our outer game while letting our inner game manage us (or maybe just leaving it up to chance). 

We can build up to playing, what’s called our “infinite game” in which our focus of attention is on how we are showing up; and less on what we are trying to achieve. This maintains a cycle of growth where we are always succeeding through our lived experiences ultimately allowing us to become failure-immune.

Founder & Principal

Derek Covington, MSc is a sports performance leader, strategist and innovator having delivered improvement in sport performance for the Canadian Olympic Team through nine Olympic Games.

As the former Director of Performance for the Canadian Olympic Team and International athlete, Derek combines his Olympic high-performance experience with mindfulness and meditation training into a powerful approach to helping individuals attain their performance and well-being goals.

Based in Montreal, Canada, Derek is a certified mindfulness instructor (mPEAK) through the School of Medicine, Centre for Mindfulness at the University California, San Diego. He coaches athletes and teams from around the world, from youth development to Olympic and professional levels.

Derek’s philosophy and approach is to focus on the ‘how of success’ and less on the ‘outcome of success’. Our goals gives us the journey yet staying true to our journey is all we ever have. It is a philosophy cultivated in a belief in ourselves rather than a belief in achieving a future outcome. Our goal is to cultivate a quality of presence by not striving for an outcome. It is our certainty about inherently uncertain things that becomes the enemy of possibility, whereas embracing humility and learning becomes its friend. Our job is to have zero expectations and to let go. When we set out to achieve the impossible, success might be rare, but the ultimate celebration – learning and transforming – can always be guaranteed when it is practiced mindfully. It becomes less about individual success or winning the day, and more about being part of something bigger than ourselves and how we showed up on the day. This shift in focus, ironically is how we realize our potential enroute to achieving our goals.

Mindfulness Trainer/Coach

Renae Stevenson, is a former professional hockey (NWHL) player, as well as Hockey Canada Certified Coach. She is a retired police officer with over two decades of service who trains elite athletes and first responders in mindfulness skills throughout North America. Based on the West Coast, Renae Stevenson splits her time between Vancouver Island and Greater Vancouver. Renae is an IMTA Certified Professional Mindfulness Teacher. After completing an interdisciplinary graduate degree in Leadership, Education and Mindfulness, she obtained her teaching designations in both MBSR and mPEAK from the UC San Diego’s School of Medicine.

Renae has a strong understanding of the needs of elite athletes and first responders. Renae’s greatest passion is her service work for First Water, leading philanthropic programming to eliminate financial barriers to mindfulness skills training – for non-profit organizations, schools, First Nations, and youth.