Evaluating Mindfulness as a New Approach to Athletic Performance Enhancement

Evaluating Mindfulness as a New Approach to Athletic Performance Enhancement

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Performance maximization is a popular goal of athletes, coaches, and sport psychologists, and the state where peak performance is most likely to occur is often called qthe zoneq or flow. Interventions based on mindfulness, which promote present-moment awareness and non judgmental acceptance, have recently been shown to be effective for treating various mental and physical health concerns. Mindfulness approaches also appear to be more compatible with theories of flow and peak performance than traditional cognitive and behavioral techniques that emphasize altering maladaptive thoughts. The present study assessed how training in Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE), a 4-week mindfulness program developed for this research, affected the performance and performance-related psychological characteristics of 11 archers and 21 golfers from the community. Prior to and after the training, participants completed trait measures of sport anxiety, perfectionism, sport confidence, thought disruption while performing, mindfulness, and flow. During the training, they provided data on their sport performances, as well as their state levels of mindfulness and flow. Analyses revealed that, for both archers and golfers, significant changes in dimensions of the trait variables occurred during the training. Specifically, there were significant increases in the archers' overall mindfulness and optimism as well as the golfers' intrusive thoughts during performance and ability to describe present-moment experiences. Levels of state flow attained by the athletes also increased between the first and final sessions. Due to scoring complications, archers' performance logs could not be analyzed, but no significant changes in performance were evident for golfers. However, post-workshop feedback from the athletes indicated expectations that the training would benefit performance in the future, making follow up necessary. Additionally, at baseline, dispositional flow was inversely related to anxiety, perfectionism, and thought disruption, and positively associated with trait mindfulness and confidence, furthering understanding of the flow construct. Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement may be a promising intervention to use with athletes, particularly if more time is allotted for practice and implementation of the skills taught. Future research should include athletes from other sports and use a larger sample to allow for random assignment to intervention and control groups.athletes submitted their between-session measures for the week, and a total of 7 archers and 1 5 golfers turned in completed ... Post-workshop questionnaires ( trait measures and exit survey) were completed by 7 archers and 14 golfers. Mindfulness Training A treatment manual (see Appendix I) was developed for the present study describing MSPE, which ... 1953; Lee aamp; de Bondt, 2005), golf ( Rotella aamp; Cullen, 2004), and other highly mental sports such as tennis (Gallwey, 1974).

Title:Evaluating Mindfulness as a New Approach to Athletic Performance Enhancement
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008


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