A Mixed-Method Study of Athletes’ Experiences With Mindfulness Across Stages of Readiness

in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
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  • 1 West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, USA
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Existing mindfulness literature in sport primarily focuses on manualized mindfulness protocols, while less is known about athlete experiences with mindfulness outside of interventions. The purpose of the present study was to explore student-athlete experiences with and readiness to practice mindfulness. Using convenience and snowball sampling, 205 collegiate athletes completed a mixed-method survey that assessed readiness, trait mindfulness, social support for mindfulness practice, and mindfulness’ perceived effect on performance. Participants were invited to comment on benefits, barriers, or adverse experiences during their practice. Athletes with long-term experience had significantly higher mindfulness scores than those with less experience; they also perceived that mindfulness had significantly greater effects on performance than those not practicing. Various benefits and barriers were expressed across stages of readiness, though roughly 6%–10% of participants reported an adverse effect of mindfulness practice. It is thus important for practitioners to consider readiness levels and previous experiences in implementing mindfulness interventions.

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