Fly fishing is a passion of mine. Tenkara is the traditional way of fly fishing in Japan, using 11ft to 15ft long rods but without a fly line or reel. I find that there is a close affinity with fishing and coaching, and this quote by Kevin Kelleher and Misako Ishimura in their book on Tenkara, particularly pertinent.
“The quiet time spent planning an approach, the careful upstream wade, and the “soft eyes” used to catch all the nuances of water movement are, in my experience, very meditative experiences. Medical research has shown that such quiet enhances the connections in the sections of the brain known as the pre-fontal region. This regions is responsible for keeping the balance between internal chaos and boredom; it enables goals setting and planning , allows us to listen to our intuition, and improves the clarity of our moral compasses. We refer to these capabilities as executive functions. Only human beings have this section of the brain. Silencing the ego through quiet concentration is known to enhance the neurological connections that serve these functions.”