A smartphone mindfulness-based intervention pilot study with competitive high school baseball players
Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have shown efficacy with diverse populations. The training periods for sport MBIs range 4-10 weeks, but positive outcomes have been found during the first 2-4 weeks This is promising as athletes have busy schedules. Additionally, smartphone MBIs are gaining in popularity, but research with them is just beginning. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to investigate a brief MBI with competitive high school baseball players. Participants included four athletes (mean 15.6 years) from one club team and their head coach. The athletes completed mindfulness training via Headspace (headspace.com). Each athlete was interviewed post-intervention. The head coach was also interviewed to gain insight into any observed changes in his athletes. Consensual Qualitative Research analysis resulted in four categories: Mindfulness, Readiness for Competition, Self-confidence, and Perceptions of the Intervention. All athletes discussed the MBI as facilitative for mental preparation for competition. Further, one athlete initially reporting low self-confidence, felt that his confidence improved after participation in the pilot study. Finally, all participants identified the app as a convenient way to practice mindfulness given their busy schedules. Positive outcomes in the current study are supported in the literature and provide insight into the efficacy and acceptability of a smartphone MBI. Future directions for research and implications for applied settings are discussed.
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