This study presents the case of Steve, an adolescent competitive springboard diver. This diver, referred by his coach, received the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC) approach for performance enhancement. The MAC protocol, originally written for an adult population, was used in modified form (under consultation from the authors) to ensure appropriateness for an adolescent population. Conducted in nine individual sessions, the intervention targeted abilities in attention and value-driven behavior to enhance focus, poise, and overall diving performance. Self-report measures of mindfulness and flow, along with objective measures of diving performance were collected pre- and postintervention. Results indicated increases in mindful awareness, mindful attention, experiential acceptance, flow, and diving performance from pre- to postintervention. This case supports the applicability of the MAC protocol with an adolescent athlete population.
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Andrew T. Wolanin and Lori A. Schwanhausser
The purpose of the present study was to investigate the impact of subclinical psychological difficulties, as assessed by the Multilevel Classification System for Sport Psychology (MCS-SP; Gardner & Moore, 2004b, 2006), on the efficacy of the Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment (MAC; Gardner & Moore, 2004a, 2007) performance enhancement intervention. Thirteen collegiate field hockey and volleyball athletes participated in a 7-week MAC protocol, and their results were compared to those of a control group of 7 same-sport athletes. Nonparametric analysis of the data offers additional support for MAC as a strategy for enhancing the athletic performance of collegiate athletes and suggests the importance of the accurate assessment of subclinical psychological difficulties to ensure the successful application of sport psychology interventions. In essence, these results suggest that the presence or absence of subclinical psychological difficulties may serve as a moderating factor in performance enhancement efforts.