Mindfulness Meditation Intervention with Male Collegiate Soccer Players: Effect on Stress and Various Aspects of Life

Authors: Zeljka Vidic, Mark St. Martin, Richard Oxhandler

Corresponding Author:
Zeljka Vidic, Ph.D.
1903 West Michigan Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5426
Zeljka.vidic@wmich.edu
269-387-2677

Zeljka Vidic is an Assistant Professor/Program Coordinator for the M.A. Coaching Sport Performance and the Undergraduate Coaching Minor at Western Michigan University

Mindfulness Meditation Intervention with Male Collegiate Soccer Players: Effect on Stress and Various Aspects of Life

ABSTRACT
Collegiate athletes face a unique set of challenges in an environment that demands their best in the athletic, academic, and personal arenas of their lives. In recent years, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has increased its attention towards the enhancement of collegiate athletes’ overall mental health with the goal of helping athletes cope more effectively on- and off-the court. One technique that has gained attention in the sport setting due to its all-around beneficial effects on health and well-being and athletic performance is the practice of mindfulness. This mixed-method study investigated the effects of a 6-session mindfulness meditation intervention on a United States NCAA Division III men’s soccer team’s (n=18; ages 18-22) stress levels and various aspects of their lives. Qualitative results revealed that athletes had overall positive perceptions of the mindfulness meditation intervention across various aspects of their lives in the form of: enhanced focus, increased calmness, improved awareness, and being more present-oriented. Quantitative results demonstrated overall decreases in stress over the course of intervention, however these findings did not reach statistical significance. Overall, the findings of this study suggest that mindfulness meditation training has the potential to be an effective approach to assisting athletes derive positive benefits on- and off-the court.
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Psychological Determinants of Burnout, Illness and Injury among Elite Junior Athletes

Authors: F. Moen, K. Myhre and Ø. Sandbakk

Corresponding Author:
Frode Moen
E-mail address: frmoe@online.no, Tel. : +47 932 487 50
Postal address: Department of Education, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 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.

Psychological Determinants of Burnout, Illness and Injury among Elite Junior Athletes

ABSTRACT
This article looks at how psychological variables such as passion, perceived performance, affect, worries and working alliance are associated with athlete burnout and illness and injuries among junior athletes in sport. A sample of 356 junior elite athletes from different sports such as cross country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, shooting, ice-hockey, ice-skating, ski jumping, alpine skiing, cycling, track and field, football, orienteering, handball, football and volleyball participated in the investigation. Our results show that harmonic passion, perceived performance, positive and negative affect, worry and working alliance are uniquely associated with athlete burnout, whereas sex, perceived performance and working alliance uniquely are associated with illness and injuries. The results are discussed in regard of applied implications and possible future research.

Keywords: passion, performance, stress, worries, athlete burnout

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How Mindfulness Training may mediate Stress, Performance and Burnout

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.

ABSTRACT

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

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