Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement in Practice
For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories
For many athletes, engaging competitively in a physical activity while staying in the moment can be quite difficult. Mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) is a mental training program designed to help athletes, coaches, and other performers develop a set of core skills that can facilitate peak performance and optimal experience. This approach is rooted in the practice of mindfulness and typically administered in a group format, but it can also be used with individuals.
In this video program, Dr. Keith A. Kaufman works closely with a group of university golfers who wish to improve their performance.
Mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) is a 6-session, mindfulness-based mental training program designed to help athletes, coaches, and other performers develop a set of core mental skills that can facilitate peak performance. These core skills are intended to enhance participants' capacities to be aware and accepting of present-moment experiences, which have been theoretically and empirically linked to optimal performance states like flow or "the zone."
Early empirical support for MSPE has been quite promising, and, as interest in mindfulness for athletes has grown, and in MSPE specifically, new studies are being conducted in places as far apart as Washington, DC, Tennessee, Australia, and Iran.
Rooted in the traditions of Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness-based stress reduction and Segal, Williams, and Teasdale's mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, MSPE includes educational, discussion, and experiential components that can be tailored to any sport of focus or for groups of athletes representing multiple sports.
Although it is typically administered in a group format, MSPE can also be used with individuals. Mindfulness practice in this training progresses from sedentary to increasingly active, so that participants are given a clear path to integrating the core skills into their actions in the heat of training and competition.
Dr. Keith A. Kaufman is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the mental training of athletes and others who wish to improve their health and performance.
He has offices in Washington, DC, and Fairfax, Virginia, and is a research associate at Catholic University where he teaches sport psychology and co-leads a sport psychology lab. His research focuses on an intervention he co-developed, mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE).
Dr. Kaufman received his BA in both psychology and exercise and sport science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received the Patrick F. Earey Award to the outstanding senior exercise and sport science major. He got his PhD in clinical psychology at Catholic University, completing his predoctoral internship at Virginia Tech where he received an American College Counseling Association special commendation for meritorious service following the 2007 shootings.
- De Petrillo, L. A., Kaufman, K. A., Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (2009). Mindfulness for long-distance runners: An open trial using Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE). Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3, 357–376.
- Kaufman, K. A. (2012, February). Keeping a sport performance journal. Competitor, 18.
- Kaufman, K. A. (2014, December). Understanding student-athlete burnout. NCAA Sport Science Institute Newsletter. http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/sport-scienceinstitute/understanding-student-athlete-burnout
- Kaufman, K. A., Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (2009). Evaluation of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE): A new approach to promote flow in athletes. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 3, 334–356.
- Kaufman, K. A., Glass, C. R., & Pineau, T. R. (2016). Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE): Development and application. In A. Baltzell (Ed.), Mindfulness and performance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
- Kaufman, K. A., Glass, C. R., & Pineau, T. R. (in press). Mindful sport performance enhancement. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Kaufman, K. A., LaSalle-Ricci, V. H., Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (2007). Passing the bar exam: Psychological, educational, and demographic predictors of success. Journal of Legal Education, 57, 205–223.
- Pineau, T. R., Glass, C. R., & Kaufman, K. A. (2014). Mindfulness in sport performance. In A. Ie, C. Ngnoumen, & E. Langer (Eds.), Wiley Blackwell handbook of mindfulness. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Pineau, T. R., Glass, C. R., Kaufman, K. A., & Bernal, D. R. (2014). Self- and team efficacy beliefs of rowers and their relation to mindfulness and flow. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 8, 142–158.
- Thompson, R. W., Kaufman, K. A., De Petrillo, L. A., Glass, C. R., & Arnkoff, D. B. (2011). One year follow-up of Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement (MSPE) with archers, golfers, and runners. Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 5, 99–116.
- Mindful Therapy
- Mindfulness for Anxiety
Ronald D. Siegel
- Mindfulness for Insomnia
Jason C. Ong
- Mindfulness for Well-Being
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
Zindel V. Segal
- Performance Psychology
Charles H. Brown, Jr.
- 25 Lessons in Mindfulness: Now Time for Healthy Living
- The Art and Science of Mindfulness: Integrating Mindfulness Into Psychology and the Helping Professions, Second Edition
Shauna L. Shapiro, and Linda E. Carlson
- Exploring Sport and Exercise Psychology, Third Edition
Edited by Judy Van Raalte, and Britton W. Brewer
- Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement: Mental Training for Athletes and Coaches
Keith A. Kaufman, Carol R. Glass, and Timothy R. Pineau
- Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Insomnia
Jason C. Ong
- Performance Psychology in Action: Casebook for Working With Athletes, Performing Artists, Business Leaders, and Professionals in High-Risk Occupations
Edited by Kate F. Hays
- A Practical Guide to Cultivating Therapeutic Presence
Shari M. Geller
- Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy
Shari M. Geller, and Leslie S. Greenberg
- Mindful Sport Performance Enhancement
This book is a comprehensive resource on the history, theory, and practice of mindfulness in sport. The authors present their empirically-supported, six-session mindfulness program adapted for specific athletic populations.