Mindfulness and acceptance models in sport psychology: A decade of basic and applied scientific advancements

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It has been over a decade since the mindfulness and acceptance-based practice models that were originally developed within the mainstream clinical psychology domain were first applied in the sport context in order to enhance the athletic performance and overall psychological and general well-being of competitive athletes. Since that time, as mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions gained empirical support for the treatment of a broad range of clinical syndromes and difficulties, numerous important theoretical and empirical developments have also added to the scientific base for these procedures with athletic clientele and have provided some empirical support for the use of these theoretical models and associated intervention procedures. Thus, the present article retraces the past 11 years to provide a comprehensive update on the state-of-the-science with respect to the use of mindfulness and acceptance-based interventions for the purpose of enhanced athletic performance. The article sequentially discusses the theoretical development of these procedures for use with athletic clientele, provides an overview of the empirical research in both basic and applied science with respect to mechanisms of action and intervention efficacy, and suggests future research directions that may aid in the evolution of this approach. © 2012 Canadian Psychological Association.

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Canadian Psychology

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