At ASBGV, we integrate Mindfulness into both PE and our Athletics programs. Our PE teachers and team coaches pass on their Mindfulness training to use in classes and during team practices or games.

The positive benefits of teaching mindfulness to athletes have been proven across a number of studies. A five or ten-minute daily mindfulness practice or integration into PE can help students reduce stress and anxiety, increase concentration and engagement, sleep better, improve social skills, and develop problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Sport is one of the most mindful activities anyone can undertake. When a person is playing sport they are in the moment. Being competitive is part of our nature and can be seen as positive if viewed through the eyes of interconnectedness. Children want to work hard and play well for each other. Working hard shows how using right effort, loving-speech and right action can help us reach our full potential. Playing for a team and showing effort is what should bring us pleasure as much as winning. Meanwhile losing provides us with valuable lessons in accepting the suffering which can come with this. How best to deal with those feelings is an important part of why we continue to take part in competitive sports with children. We should give children the skills on how to deal with this using mindfulness practices.

Below is some information and research regarding the influence of Mindfulness in sport.


Mental preparation can be optimized through properly implemented, progressive mindfulness training, and optimal mental preparation may enhance physiological readiness. Mindfulness-based interventions have resulted in numerous physiological effects such as decreased pre-competition salivary cortisol associated with decreased pre-competition stress (John, Verma, & Khanna, 2011), decreased resting heart rate (Hewett, Ransdell, Gao, Petlichkoff, & Lukas, 20011), and decreased pain sensitivity (Kingston, Chadwick, Meron, & Skinner, 2007; Zeiden, Gordon, Merchant, & Goolkasian, 2010). These physiological effects may enhance sport performance and may also decrease risk of athlete burnout. Mindfulness training may also help athletes improve concentration and reduce anxiety, which may lead to enhanced athletic performance (Bernier et al., 2009; Gardner & Moore, 2004).

By regulating reactions to potential stressors, the perceived stress is decreased, and by developing an awareness of their breathing, mindful individuals may have calming effects on their sympathetic nervous systems, thus decreasing their resting heart rates (Hewett et al., 2011). A lower resting heart rate can lead to improved physical performances due to more efficient heart function and greater endurance, as well as lower perceived exhaustion. Additionally, mindful individuals may become aware of their ability to alter their sympathetic nervous systems (Hewett et al., 2011), which may lead to a greater sense of control, thus reducing anxiety.


Mindful athletes may have heightened awareness and acceptance of internal and external stimuli that may allow them to devote their attention and energy to their athletic performances (Moore, 2009).

Mindfulness, or non-judgmental present-moment awareness, may help athletes improve their concentration, thus helping them improve their sports performances (Bernier, Thienot, Codron, & Fournier, 2009; Gardner & Moore, 2004).

Mindfulness, the non-judgmental awareness or focus on the present moment (Kabat-Zinn, 1994; Schmidt & Kupper, 2012; Ulmer, Stetson, & Salmon, 2010), allows athletes to experience and reflect on each moment without viewing and reacting to the situation or moment as positive or negative (Bernier et al., 2009; Gardner & Moore, 2004; Thompson, Kaufman, De Petrillo, Glass, & Arnkoff, 2011).

Mindfulness also allows athletes to become aware of personal thoughts, feelings, and other internal stimuli and encourages athletes to focus on personal values or processes of sport related skills and game strategies instead of focusing on performance outcomes (Pineau, Glass, & Kaufman, 2014).

Awareness and acceptance of the present moment may allow athletes to focus less on negative thoughts, which may provide athletes with more energy and focus for the athletic tasks at hand (Pineau et al., 2014).

Mindfulness allows individuals to concentrate their attention on the present moment and not dwell on the past nor worry about the future. Additionally, instead of changing or stopping unwanted thoughts, mindfulness teaches athletes to play with such thoughts (Bernier et al., 2009; Gardner & Moore, 2004). This is important for athletes because concern about past or future performances may prevent them from performing their best or from enjoying their sport.



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