Mindfulness Strategies: Consulting with Coaches and Athletes

Amy Baltzell, Boston University, USA
Tina Greenbaum, Tennis to the Max, USA
John McCarthy, Boston University, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: WKSP-24

Presentation: October 4, 2013 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Room: Belle Chasse


Six strategies will be offered, which integrate mindfulness with sport psychology mental skills training. The goal is to help athletes/coaches cope effectively with aversive emotions and, at once, optimize performance. Mindfulness practice can contribute to athletic performance (e.g. Kabat-Zinn, 1986; Gardner and Moore, 2004, 2007) and can, currently, contribute to long terms mental well-being (e.g. Beaer, 2003). Demonstrations and dyad practice time will be included. Learning Objectives: Participants will: 1.Understand Kabat-Zinn’s concept of mindfulness and the application of mindfulness practices to sport performance. 2.Learn mindfulness strategies, which integrate sport psychology mental skills, 3.Learn six mindfulness based performance enhancement strategies for sport psychology consulting applications, based on the Mindful Acceptance Commitment (MAC) approach. 4.Strengthen awareness of the how to best use mindfulness based strategies in applied practice. Teaching method will include succinct informational presentation of core material, demonstration of each strategy, participants practicing strategies in dyads and a handout of core material will be offered. Six specific techniques 1. Self-talk cue for Most helpful in-the-moment Performance Focus: to shift away from destructive feelings and/or thoughts. 2. Normalizing negative (unhelpful) thoughts and emotions: when athletes/sport coaches cannot get rid of negative aversive feelings and thoughts. 3. Acceptance: of whatever is occurring (e.g. anxiety). 4. Commitment to effective controllables: Priority of what client is committed to doing or “being”, regardless of feelings/thoughts. 5. Imaging successful execution of 1. a key performance moment and/or b. the end of performance or sought after successful moment. 6. Noticing what is Right (the good) in the face of difficulty. Materials that will be shared include a list of strategies presented with recommended prompts to use when implementing strategies with coach/athlete/performer, worksheets for reference when using each strategy with individual athlete/coach/clients, and a reference list of mindfulness and performance based books, articles.

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