Mindfulness with Collegiate Gymnasts: Effects on Flow, Stress and Overall Mindfulness Levels
Copyright (c) 2019 International Journal of Physical Education, Fitness and Sports
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The physical and psychological demands of sports can place an athlete under a variety of stressors. Subsequently, the way in which athletes deal with such stressors can positively or negatively affect their performance. Flow is defined as a type of experience where one is completely engaged in an activity and optimally functioning. Recently, an increase in mindfulness and acceptance based approaches have been utilized as a means to augment negative emotions in sport and many have suggested a link between mindfulness and flow. Thus, if mindfulness can positively influence flow, perhaps performance can also be positively affected. There has also been a need to determine optimal intervention lengths to successfully teach mindfulness practices within sports teams. The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a mindfulness training program on mindfulness scores, dispositional flow scores, and perceived stress scores within a population of Division I female collegiate gymnasts. Results from a repeated measures ANOVA indicated that athletes who participated in the mindfulness training demonstrated a statistically significant difference in the dispositional flow dimensions of loss of self-consciousness and the autotelic experience. These results suggest that mindfulness may influence factors associated with athletic performance.
- J.P. Whelan, M.J. Mahoney, A.W. Meyers, Performance enhancement in sport: A cognitive behavioral domain, Behavior Therapy, 22(1991, 307-327.
- A. Cooper, (1998) Playing in the zone: Exploring the spiritual dimensions of sports, Shambhala Publications, Boulder, Colorado.
- M. Csikszentmihalyi, (1990) Flow: The psychology of optimal performance, Cambridge University Press, New York.
- M. Csikszentmihalyi, I.S. Csikszentmihalyi, (1992) Optimal experience: Psychological studies of flow in consciousness, Cambridge University Press, New York.
- S.A. Jackson, Toward a conceptual understanding of the flow experience in elite athletes, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 67 (1996) 76-90.
- S.A. Jackson, G.C. Roberts, Positive performance states of athletes: Toward a conceptual understanding of peak performance, The Sport Psychologist, 6(1992) 156-171.
- W.D. Russell, An examination of flow state occurrence in college athletes, Journal of Sport Behavior, 24(2001) 83-107.
- L. Hardy, G. Jones, D. Gould, (1996) Understanding psychological preparation for sport: Theory and practice in elite athletes, Wiley, Chichester, UK.
- D. Birrer, G. Morgan, Psychological skills training as a way to enhance an athlete's performance in high‐intensity sports, Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20(2010) 78-87.
- F.L. Gardner, Z.E. Moore, A mindfulness-acceptance-commitment-based approach to athletic performance enhancement: Theoretical considerations, Behavior Therapy, 35(2004) 707-723.
- F.L. Gardner, Z.E. Moore, Mindfulness and acceptance models in sport psychology: A decade of basic and applied scientific advancements, Canadian Psychology, 53(2012) 309-318.
- K.A. Kaufman, C.R. Glass, D.B. Arnkoff, Evaluation of mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE): A new approach to promote flow in athletes, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 25(2009) 334-356.
- C. Aherne, A.P. Moran, C. Lonsdale, The effect of mindfulness training on athletes' flow: An initial investigation, Sport Psychologist, 25(2011) 177-189.
- M. Bernier, E. Thienot, R. Codron, J.F. Fournier, Mindfulness and acceptance approaches in sport performance, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3(2009) 320-333.
- D. Birrer, P. Röthlin, G. Morgan, Mindfulness to enhance athletic performance: Theoretical considerations and possible impact mechanisms, Mindfulness, 3(2012) 235-246.
- Z.E. Moore, F.L. Gardner, (2014) Mindfulness and performance, In Ie A, CT Ngoumen, EJ Langer, (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of Mindfulness, pp. 986-1003, Wiley, Chinchester, UK.
- A. Baltzell, V.L. Akhtar, Mindfulness meditation training for sport (MMTS) intervention: Impact of MMTS with division I female athletes, Journal of Happiness and Well-being, 2(2014) 160-173.
- S.R. Bishop, M. Lau, S. Shapiro, L. Carlson, N.D. Anderson, J. Carmody, Z.V. Segal, S. Abbey, M. Speca, D. Velting, G. Devins, Mindfulness: A proposed operational definition, Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 11(2004) 230-241.
- S.L. Shapiro, L.E. Carlson, J.A. Astin, B. Freedman, Mechanisms of mindfulness, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(2006) 373-386.
- J. Jones, L.E. Hardy, (1990) Stress and performance in sport, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.
- R. Wadey, S. Hanton, (2008) Basic psychological skills usage and competitive anxiety responses: Perceived underlying mechanisms, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 79(3) 363-373.
- R.S. Vealey, (2007) Mental skills training in sport. In G. Tenenbaum, & R. C. Eklund (Eds.) Handbook of Sport Psychology (3rd Ed.). 285-309. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ.
- Z.E. Moore, Theoretical and empirical developments of the mindfulness-acceptance-commitment (MAC) approach to performance enhancement, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3(2009) 291-302.
- R.W. Thompson, K.A. Kaufman, L.A. De Petrillo, C.R. Glass, D.B. Arnkoff, One year follow-up of mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) with archers, golfers, and runners, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 5(2011) 99-116.
- L. Schwanhausser, Application of the mindfulness-acceptance-commitment (MAC) protocol with an adolescent springboard diver, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3(2009) 377-395.
- A. Gooding, F.L. Gardner, An investigation of the relationship between mindfulness, preshot routine, and basketball free throw percentage, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3(2009) 303-319.
- F.R. Goodman, T.B. Kashdan, T.T. Mallard, M. Schumann, A brief mindfulness and yoga intervention with an entire NCAA division I athletic team: An initial investigation, Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 1(2014) 339-356.
- A. Baltzell, N. Caraballo, K. Chipman, L. Hayden, A qualitative study of the mindfulness meditation training for sport: Division I female soccer players’ experience, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 8(2014) 221-244.
- L.A. De Petrillo, K.A. Kaufman, C.R. Glass, D.B. Arnkoff, Mindfulness for long-distance runners: An open trial using mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE), Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 25(2009) 357-376.
- A. Ivarsson, U. Johnson, M.B. Andersen, J. Fallby, M. Altemyr, It pays to pay attention: A mindfulness-based program for injury prevention with soccer players, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 27(2015) 319-334.
- F.L. Gardner, Z.E. Moore, (2007) The psychology of enhancing human performance: The Mindfulness-Acceptance Ccommitment (MAC) approach, Springer Publishing, New York.
- M. Smrdu, U. Kordeš, (2016) Integrating mindfulness and flow in gymnastics, In M.B. Pajek, M.S. Pavletic, (Eds.), Proceedings from the 3rd International Scientific Congress Slovenian Gymnastics Federation, 40-46, Slovenian Gymnastics Federation, Portoroz, Slovenia.
- G. Privette, Peak experience, peak performance, and flow: A comparative analysis of positive human experiences, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45(1983), 1361-1368.
- S.A. Jackson, M. Csikszentmihalyi, (1999) Flow in sports, Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL.
- R. Neil, S. Hanton, S.D. Mellalieu, D. Fletcher, Competition stress and emotions in sport performers: The role of further appraisals, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 12(2011) 460-470.
- S.D. Mellalieu, S. Hanton, D. Fletcher, (2009) A competitive anxiety review: Recent directions in sport psychology research. In S. Hanton & S.D. Mellalieu (Eds.) Literature reviews in sports psychology, 1-45, Hauppauge, Nova Science Publishers, New York.
- T. Woodman, L. Hardy, The relative impact of cognitive anxiety and self-confidence upon sport performance: A meta-analysis, Journal of Sports Sciences, 21(2003) 443-457.
- D. Fletcher, & S. Hanton, Sources of organizational stress in elite sports performers, The Sport Psychologist, 17(2003) 175-195.
- T. Woodman, L. Hardy, A case study of organizational stress in elite sport, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 13(2001) 207-238.
- N.L. Holt, J.M. Hogg, Perceptions of stress and coping during preparations for the 1999 women’s soccer world cup finals, The Sport Psychologist, 16(2002), 251-271.
- S. Hwang, Y. Choi, Data mining in the exploration of stressors among NCAA student athletes, Psychological Reports, 119(2016) 787-803.
- R.A. Baer, G.T. Smith, J. Hopkins, J. Krietemeyer, L. Toney, Using self-report assessment methods to explore facets of mindfulness, Assessment, 13(2006) 27-45.
- R.A. Baer, G.T. Smith, E. Lykins, D. Button, J. Krietemeyer, S. Sauer, E. Walsh, D. Duggan, J.M. Williams, Construct validity of the five facet mindfulness questionnaire in meditating and nonmeditating samples, Assessment, 15(2008) 329-342.
- S.A. Jackson, R.C. Eklund, Assessing flow in physical activity: The flow state scale–2 and dispositional flow scale–2, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 24(2002) 133-150.
- S. Cohen, T. Kamarck, R. Mermelstein, A global measure of perceived stress, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 24(1983) 385-396.
- S.A. Jackson, Factors influencing the occurrence of flow state in elite athletes, Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 7(1995) 138-166.
- S.A. Jackson, S.K. Ford, J.C. Kimiecik, H.W. Marsh, Psychological correlates of flow in sport, Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 20(1998) 358-378.
- Y.H. Kee, C.J. Wang, Relationships between mindfulness, flow dispositions and mental skills adoption: A cluster analytic approach, Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 9(2008) 393-411.
- S. Cathcart, M. McGregor, E. Groundwater, Mindfulness and flow in elite athletes, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 8(2014) 119-141.
- K.W. Brown, R.M. Ryan, The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2003) 822-848.