This study aimed to explore attentional foci and their temporal patterns in expert skaters in real competition situations. Individual self-confrontation interviews were held with 8 expert figure skaters while they watched their videotaped program performed in official competitions. Qualitative data analysis revealed that skaters used a substantial number of foci, which were classified by content and characteristics. Event listing was used to display the patterns of foci over time, revealing that skaters used distinct processes to prepare for, perform, and evaluate different program elements. These results highlighted the great flexibility and variability of attentional focus, according to circumstantial factors.
An Investigation of Attentional Foci and their Temporal Patterns: A Naturalistic Study in Expert Figure Skaters
Marjorie Bernier, Christiane Trottier, Emilie Thienot, and Jean Fournier
Effects and Underlying Processes of a Mindfulness-Based Intervention With Young Elite Figure Skaters: Two Case Studies
Marjorie Bernier, Emilie Thienot, Emilie Pelosse, and Jean F. Fournier
This article examines the effects and underlying processes of a mindfulness-based intervention through two case studies. A one-season intervention designed according to the mindfulness approach was implemented with young elite figure skaters. Case studies were complemented with different measurement methods: a questionnaire assessing mindfulness skills, percent improvement on competition scores compared with a control group, and interviews with skaters and coaches during the intervention. The two case studies presented demonstrate how the young skaters developed their mindfulness skills and how these skills benefited their performance. They also show the limitations of this intervention type in young populations. Performance improvement and processes underlying the intervention are discussed in light of the results, and new perspectives are provided for adapting them to the particular needs of young athletes.
Mindfulness and Acceptance Approaches in Sport Performance
Marjorie Bernier, Emilie Thienot, Romain Codron, and Jean F. Fournier
The two studies included herein discuss mindfulness and acceptance in sport performance. Based on exploratory interviews with elite swimmers, Study 1 showed that optimal performance, or “flow,” states reveal similar characteristics to mindfulness and acceptance states. In flow experiences, the elite swimmers described that they had been particularly mindful of their bodily sensations and accepted them. In Study 2, mindfulness and acceptance were integrated into a psychological skills training program for seven young elite golfers. The program, based on mindfulness and acceptance, contributed to performance enhancement in competition. Participants improved the efficacy of their routines by seeking more relevant internal and external information. The results of both studies corroborated those of previous studies dealing with mindfulness and acceptance in sport. Together, these studies enhance the applicability and efficacy of these approaches with athletic clientele.