The mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) protocol is designed to enhance mindfulness, emotional regulation, and attentional awareness and control. The MSPE consists of trainer led group sessions teaching the concepts of mindfulness through discussion and meditation practice. However, little research has tested the MSPE protocol’s adaptability and generalizability to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division-I teams and practitioners independent of the MSPE protocol’s creators. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to test the efficacy of an adapted MSPE protocol. The adapted MSPE protocol was delivered to a NCAA Division I team while a second team participated as a potentially equivalent control group. Both teams completed measures of attentional control, flow, rumination, and mindful attention as primary outcome variables. Results revealed significant decreases in rumination and trait anxiety, as well as improvements in concentration control and focusing ability compared with the control group. Findings support the external validity of the MSPE protocol to adapt to independent practitioners and a previously unstudied combination of sport and level of competition.
An Independent Examination of the Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement Protocol in National Collegiate Athletic Association Swimming and Diving
Jason Kostrna and Aaron D’Addario
A Proposed Three-Stage Postperformance-Routine Framework
Jason Kostrna, Jean-Charles Lebeau, Camilo Sáenz-Moncaleano, and Brian Foster
Research has supported the use of preperformance routines to successfully manage the period preceding sport performance. In contrast, little research has been done on the period succeeding skill execution. This article introduces a three-stage model for postperformance routines (PoPR) for novice motor learning and performance including emotion regulation, performance analysis and correction, and continuation to the next performance trial. To test this model, 38 novice golfers completed a putting task after random assignment to either a PoPR or a control condition. Putting performance was measured after each putt, and self-efficacy, arousal, affect, and perceived task difficulty were recorded every 10 putts. Participants in the PoPR group improved their performance from baseline to postintervention (d = −0.55), while performance in the control group remained unchanged (d = −0.01). No significant differences were observed for performance consistency, emotions, self-efficacy, and perceived task difficulty. Thus, practitioners implementing a PoPR in novice athletes may consider the proposed three-stage framework for improvements in motor learning and performance.
Developing Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Soccer: A Community Outreach Pilot Program
Sabrina Gomez Souffront, Enzo R.N. Everett, and Jason Kostrna
Sport provides opportunities for adolescents to develop psychological skills. To realize this potential, sport facilitators must actively create a culture that develops adolescent athletes. Psychological skills training and biofeedback training have been effective at developing psychological skills in adult athletes. However, little research has focused on the effects of psychological skills training and biofeedback training in adolescent athletes. This study tests the efficacy of a pilot community outreach program to promote psychological skills development in adolescent soccer players from a travel soccer team (n = 21). During the 2-week intervention, researchers taught participants psychophysiological content related to self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making. The psychological skills training sessions included active learning activities, group discussions, and reflection. Throughout the sessions, researchers used biofeedback to demonstrate and train participants in psychophysiological concepts. The 2-week intervention gave participants opportunities each day to monitor and reflect on their psychological performance state. Program evaluation data showed descriptive improvements in the ability to focus, control arousal, reduce stress, and control emotions. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests revealed significant positive changes occurred for decision-making self-efficacy. The intervention and efficacy of this study support applied practitioners’ integration of biofeedback and psychological skills training to improve adolescents’ self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making.