Submitted by P. Furrer1*, Dr. F. Moen2*, and. Dr. K. Firing3*
1* Master student; Faculty of Teacher Education; The Nord-Trøndelag University College; Levanger, Norway
2* Associate Professor; Department of Education; Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Trondheim, Norway
3*Associate Professor; Department of Leadership; The Royal Norwegian Air Force Academy; Trondheim, Norway
Frode Moen is currently the head manager of the Olympic Athlete program in central Norway, where he also has a position as a coach / mental trainer for elite athletes and coaches. He also is an associate professor at the Department of Education at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. He previously has worked as a teacher in high school where sport was his major subject, and he has been a coach for the national team in Nordic combined in Norway for several years. Frode received his Ph.D. in coaching and performance psychology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research focuses mainly on coaching in business, coaching in sport, communication, performance psychology and relationship issues.
The aim of this article was to explore the influence of mindfulness training on stress, perceived performance in school and sports, and athlete burnout among junior elite athletes. One goal was to determine the usefulness of mindfulness training in performance enhancement and burnout prevention in junior elite sports. A mindfulness-training program (MTP) was conducted with 29 junior elite athletes over a period of 12-weeks. Six of the athletes who were participating in the MTP were randomly chosen to voluntarily participate in a semi structural interview that explored possible effects from the MTP. Our qualitative analyses showed that the mindfulness intervention had a positive impact on the athletes’ awareness and recovery. The authors also discuss positive effects on the athletes’ focus and performances. The findings are discussed against the usefulness of mindfulness training in athlete burnout prevention.
Key words: mindfulness, stress, athlete burnout, sport