Urban Squash Toronto, a program dedicated to empowering young minds recently integrated Bee Happy Mindfulness groundbreaking mindfulness curriculum designed to foster emotional regulation, teamwork, resilience, and compassion. This holistic approach aimed to equip participants not only with athletic skills but also with invaluable mental tools crucial for success both on and off the court.
Here is a breakdown on what we accomplished together with Urban Squash Toronto:
Week 1: Understanding Mindfulness and The Brain
The inaugural session focused on laying the groundwork. Participants delved into the essence of mindfulness, learning how it intertwines with brain function and the significance of conscious breathing. Discussions elucidated the pivotal role mindfulness plays in sports performance and everyday life, setting the stage for the journey ahead.
Week 2: Emotional Regulation, Mindful Movement & Team Building
Building upon the foundation, Urban Squash introduced mindful movement practices like yoga and stretching exercises. These activities honed in on the connection between body sensations and breath, promoting a heightened sense of awareness during physical activity. Emotional intelligence took center stage as participants engaged in exercises to recognize, understand, and manage their emotions. The Hula Hoop Challenge further bolstered team dynamics, emphasizing effective communication and problem-solving.
Week 3: Cultivating a Growth Mindset and Resilience
The focus shifted to fostering a growth mindset and resilience. Understanding neuroplasticity illuminated the importance of making mistakes in the learning process. Mindfulness practices were interwoven to navigate setbacks and challenges, exemplified by the engaging Jenga game that emphasized resilience, persistence, and thoughtful decision-making.
Week 4: Embracing Compassion and Leadership
In the final week, the program honed in on self-compassion and compassionate leadership. Participants engaged in discussions addressing the inner critic and the power of affirmations. A powerful activity involved painting rocks with affirmations, destined to adorn a community garden—a tangible testament to the journey of self-discovery and growth embarked upon during the program.
Impact and Future
After collecting survey results from participants they acknowledged that they were using breathwork exercises and concepts related to our sessions. Students are more aware of adopting a growth mindset coupled with the principles of compassion and self-empowerment.
Bee Happy Mindfulness’ customized program for Urban Squash Toronto stands as a testament to the transformative power of intertwining sports with mental well-being. By nurturing mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and compassion, the program is not just shaping better athletes but also fostering resilient, empathetic, and mindful individuals prepared for success both on and off the court.
About Urban Squash Toronto
Urban Squash Toronto (UST) is a registered charity that combines an intensive after-school, 7 days-a-week, yearlong education program with concentrated athletics (principally squash). We support under served youth in the Jane-Finch community to reach their full academic, athletic and personal potential.
Our program includes a professional academic program (Oxford Learning & York University teaching placements), mentoring, community service, leadership and athletics. Students start at UST in Grade 6 and remain in the program throughout high-school.