His position requires a keen eye and snap decisions to dodge brutal collisions. But as part of his preparation for it, J.J. McCarthy swears by sitting motionless, breathing slowly, his eyes closed.

McCarthy, Michigan’s 19-year-old quarterback, has meditated daily for years. He does it in private, and he does it cross-legged before kickoff on game day, when he said meditation helps him become “completely there, completely present.”