The aim of the study was to examine and reflect on the learning experiences of a neophyte sport psychologist. Over a 9-week applied internship the first author kept a reflective diary that followed Boud’s (2001) three elements of journal writing. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003) of the data identified 11 themes from the diary, 8 of which were contextualized in 3 self-narrative accounts, including the working environment, anxiety, confidence, being a performer, being a learner, relationships, feedback and practical content. Reflecting on these incidents the neophyte’s supervisor offers another perspective, and along with the narrative accounts, furthers our understanding of important factors, and indicates recommendations to ensure quality training for professional development.
Charlotte Woodcock, Hugh Richards and Angus Mugford
Nick Mardon, Hugh Richards and Amanda Martindale
This quasi-experimental intervention study investigated the impact of mindfulness training on attention and performance in swimmers. Following an 8-week intervention with six national-level university swimmers (M = 20 years), single case analysis of pre- and post- measurements for three of six participants showed large improvements in mindfulness and attention efficiency. Two participants showed a small increase in one of mindfulness or attention efficiency, and one showed no changes. Four participants improved performance times compared with season-best, and five participants improved self-rated performance. Athletes and coach positively evaluated mindfulness training. This study, with strong ecological validity, shows improvements in mindfulness, attention, and performance, consistent with theory that proposes attention as a mechanism for mindfulness based performance changes. Mindfulness training can be an effective and practical intervention. Further applied research is required utilizing designs to determine causality and further test the proposed mechanisms through which mindfulness may influence performance.