Author: Bell, Kallista A.
The present study explores psychological skills training (PST) and performance in a population of elite adolescent athletes. Clinical sport psychology research has recently begun to assess mindfulness as a psychological skill; mindfulness focuses on present moment non-judgmental awareness and acceptance of one’s internal state and affect. The present study was a novel mindfulness intervention focusing on teaching 38 elite adolescent soccer players mindfulness skills in six-one hour training sessions. It was expected that participation in the mindfulness training would yield increases in self-reported performance, self-efficacy and emotion regulation. Participants completed the dependent measures pre-intervention, post-intervention and three-months after the start of the intervention. Significant improvements in performance and self-efficacy were observed; however, no significant changes in emotion regulation were observed. The results were significant at the three-month measurement. This six-session developmentally modified mindfulness intervention is a promising advance in the field of sport psychology and performance enhancement with young athletes. The importance of adapting and targeting mindfulness interventions for working with adolescent athletes and specific methodological considerations are discussed.
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Thesis advisor: Cox, David
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