PEORIA, Ariz. — Around 7:30 one recent morning, with the desert sun having barely risen above the horizon, about a dozen Seattle Mariners minor leaguers, many in team-issued hoodies that hid bleary faces, walked silently down the main corridor of their training facility. They passed the candlelit office of the Mariners’ field coordinator. They passed the dining hall, where teammates lifted forkfuls of eggs and kale hash browns. They passed the “community library” — take a book, leave a book — with titles such as “Ego Is the Enemy” and “The Power of I Am” sitting alongside memoirs and biographies of Derek Jeter, Andre Agassi and Pat Summitt.
Finally, they arrived at a small, darkened meeting room filled with chairs that many of the players ignored, choosing instead to sit on the floor, backs to the wall. Before they would swing a bat or throw a pitch on another busy morning, they would sit here in silence for half an hour. They would meditate.
“Close your eyes,” a man’s recorded voice, soft and soothing, instructed the players. “Bring your attention to how you feel. Right. Now. Embrace whatever those feelings are. Feel yourself on the floor or chair. Feel yourself being here, now.”