Stepping on the Mat: A Novice Practitioner’s Experiences Conducting a Mental-Training Workshop for Mixed Martial Arts Athletes

in Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Lafayette College
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The current case reports a multimodal group intervention implemented at a mixed martial arts (MMA) school. Participants in the workshop included athletes of a range of belt ranks and experience levels, demonstrating an interest in mental-skills training from not only competitive but also recreational athletes. Goal setting, arousal regulation, self-talk, and imagery were covered, with a short informative lecture and an activity for each skill. Feedback was generally positive, with participants indicating that they had learned a lot and suggesting more workshops in the future, as well as more sport-specific examples. For the student-trainee, being new to leading workshops and being a member of the population were important; for the supervisor, taking on that role and working in an unfamiliar sport were novel experiences. Efficacy research should be conducted with this kind of intervention for recreational MMA athletes, but feedback demonstrated an interest in mental skills for this population.

The authors were with Lafayette College, Easton, PA, at the time of the study. Taber is now with the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Longshore is now with MoniKat Coaching, LLC, Easton, PA.

Taber (taberjl24@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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