This study explored how members of a Division I varsity women’s soccer team experienced a 6-week, 12 session mindfulness meditation training for sport (MMTS) program. The coaching staff and entire team participated in the MMTS program. Seven of the team members volunteered to be interviewed after their participation in the MMTS program. Thematic analysis was implemented. Most participants reported difficulty understanding the process of meditation at the start of the MMTS program. Post-MMTS, they reported an enhanced ability to accept and experience a different relationship with their emotions, both on and off the field. They also noted the importance of creating a phrase of care for self and team for cohesion purposes. Enhanced mindfulness, awareness, and acceptance of emotional experiences were attributed directly to the mindfulness training. Participants provided specific recommendations for future sport-focused mindfulness meditation programs.
Amy Baltzell and Kristen Chipman are with the Department of Counseling & Human Development Program at Boston University. Nicole Caraballo is with the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Laura Hayden is with the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston.