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Mindfulness training enhances flow state and mental health among baseball players in Taiwan

Authors Chen JH, Tsai PH, Lin YC, Chen CK, Chen CY

Received 25 September 2018

Accepted for publication 15 November 2018

Published 24 December 2018 Volume 2019:12 Pages 15—21


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Igor Elman

Jian-Hong Chen,1,2,* Po-Hsin Tsai,1,2,* Yin-Chou Lin,2,3 Chih-Ken Chen,1,2 Ching-Yen Chen1,2

1Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Keelung, Keelung, Taiwan, Republic of China; 2School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China; 3Department of Rehabilitation, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital at Taoyuan, Taoyuan, Taiwan, Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: To examine the effect of mindfulness-based training on performance and mental health among a group of elite athletes.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of mindful sport performance enhancement (MSPE) on mental health, flow state, and competitive state anxiety using a 4-week workshop. We recruited an amateur baseball team (N=21) in Taiwan, and collected information by self-reported questionnaires administered before, immediately after, and at a 4-week follow-up. The primary outcome was to evaluate sports performance by flow state and competitive state anxiety, which included self-confidence, somatic anxiety, and cognitive anxiety. The secondary outcome was to explore whether MSPE intervention can improve anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, and eating disorders.
Result: After the workshop and follow-up 1 month later, we found improvements in flow state (P=0.001; P=0.045), cognitive anxiety in competitive anxiety (P=0.056; P=0.008), global eating disorder (P=0.009; P<0.001), marked shape concern (P=0.005; P<0.001), and weight concern (P=0.007; P<0.001). Scores of sleep disturbance (P=0.047) showed significant improvement at follow-up. We also found significant association between flow state and mindfulness ability (P<0.001).
Conclusion: This is the first mindfulness intervention to enhance athletes’ performance in Taiwan, and also the first application of MSPE for team sports. Our study results suggested that mindfulness ability is associated with flow state, and that MSPE is a promising training program for strengthening flow state and mental health.

elite athletes, eating disorders, sport performance, competitive anxiety, sport psychology

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