An Evaluation of Mindful Psychological Skills Training

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An Evaluation of Mindful Psychological Skills Training
VanSteenhuyse, Erica
Babich, Amy
Meyers, Jeremy
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Publication Date:


Conference Papers ( sobekcm )


Collected for Auraria Institutional Repository by the Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Matthew Mariner.
General Note:
Faculty mentor: Michael Rhoads
General Note:
Major: Psychology

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Auraria Institutional Repository
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Auraria Library
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An Evaluation of Mindful Psychological Skills Training Erica VanSteenhuyse: Aims Babich, Jeremy Meyers, Landon Rogers, & Michael Rhoads INTRODUCTION FINDINGS METHOD DISCUSSION Sports are an integral part of lives throughout the world. Athletes spend a lot of time and money attempting to improve their performance. One, often overlooked, aspect of sports training is Psychological Skills Training (PST) and Mindfulness training. Studies examining PST have utilized techniques like goal setting and self talk which have been found to increase athletic performance control (Jackson et al, 2001; Dehghani , 2018). Mindfulness, a Buddhist philosophical concept, practices (Bishop et al, 2004). Athletes utilizing mindfulness were found to have better performance and lower injury frequency ( Amemiya , Sakairi , 2019; Rusenhack , Vargas, & Jimenez, 2016; Josefsson , 2019; Buhlmayer , Birrer , Rothlin , Faude , & Donath, 2017; Gross, Moore, Gardner, Wolanin , Pess , & Marks, 2016; Zadeh, Ajilchi , Salman, 2019). We hypothesized Mindful Psychological Skills Training (MPST) would benefit athlete performance and sport anxiety. Participants: All 10 participants were members of the MSU Denver volleyball teams. The participants were comprised of 6 females and 4 males. Procedure: This study will utilize a repeated measures quasi experimental design. Prior to the mindfulness interventions, participants completed a pre assessment battery, a Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, a Sport Anxiety Scale, a Thought Occurrence Questionnaire for Sport, a Performance Profile Indicator, and demographic questions. At the end of the final intervention session, this same assessment battery was administered. A total of 8 30 minute MPST sessions were administered. Each involved a mixture of mindfulness, psychological skills training, and sports performance enhancement activities. Assignments through the Smiling Mind cell phone app were also assigned in between sessions. the MPST techniques to be helpful for sports performance, as well as personal mindfulness. or extending the sessions further into the semester could also be beneficial. This study had a few limitations. A major limitation was the administration of surveys online rather than in person during the sessions. This resulted in response rates that were too low to analyze the quantitative data. Another limitation was that the tennis team was not currently competing, so their ability to apply these mindfulness tactics during competition was decreased in this session. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We would like to thank the MSU Denver Undergraduate Research Program for their financial assistance with this project. They study was funded by a $500 research grant award. After the MPST program, we conducted interviews with the athletes in order to obtain qualitative data. We, the researchers, then identified emergent or common themes. These themes were intervention effectiveness , difficulties , psychological skills that improved and recommendations to improve the program . Intervention effectiveness: This included topics such as helpful mindfulness exercises and practices that aided in group cohesion. mindfulness of S.T.O.P., which is serving so fast, he told us a technique where you can stop, breathe, visualize where you are and everything, this really Difficulties: These were found to be subjects that inhibited mindfulness practices such as mental barriers and life barriers. Psychological skills that improved: This incapsulated personal attributes that improved; this category included improvements in visualization, self talk, concentration, relaxation and emotional regulation. Figure 1: MPST Activities talk. If it starts to get more negative you can take a talk has Recommendation to improve : These were topics corresponding to session timing, lack of coach presence or the necessity for periods of anonymity during sessions, sport specific exercises and reminders for self practice. think we only had like 30 minutes per session so maybe 45 minutes or so because some of them FINDINGS CONT.