Mindfulness and self-control in sport

Stocker, Eva; Englert, Christoph; Seiler, Roland (5 June 2017). Mindfulness and self-control in sport. Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 39(Suppl.), S317-S318. Human Kinetics Publishers

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In sport and exercise contexts, it is highly important to control one’s impulses and behavioural tendencies to meet specific goals. Athletes frequently have to deal with several demands which may deplete their limited self-control resources which may in turn negatively affect their subsequent performance in a wide variety of sports-related tasks (e.g., coordinative, psychological and physical tasks). In our study, we investigated the effects of a short mindfulness exercise on physical performance in a state with temporarily depleted self-control strength (ego depletion). Mindfulness meditation may be beneficial for mechanisms involved during self-control exertion, because it supports efficient emotion regulation, attention regulation and executive functioning. We hypothesised that a short mindfulness exercise can compensate – at least partly – for the ego depletion effect procured by a strenuous cognitive task on physical performance.
We applied a mixed between- (ego depletion: yes vs.no) within- (two times of measurement, 7 days apart; mindfulness: yes vs. no; order counterbalanced) subjects design to test our hypothesis in a sample of N = 34 sport students (18 women; Mage = 20.85, SDage = 1.31). Ego depletion was manipulated via a well-established transcription task. For the manipulation of mindfulness, participants in the mindfulness condition performed a short mindfulness exercise, while participants in the control condition listened to an audio book. As dependent variable, participants performed a strenuous physical exercise (plank exercise) for as long as possible and we measured the respective duration at both times of measurement.
Depleted participants in the mindfulness condition were able to compensate for the ego depletion effect and held the plank position as long as the non-depleted group. On the contrary, ego depleted participants’ performance decreased when listening to the audio book. However, the interaction did not reach statistical significance, F(1, 28) = 2.28, p =.142, n^2 = .08.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science II [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Stocker, Eva, Englert, Christoph, Seiler, Roland


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Human Kinetics Publishers




Eva Stocker

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2018 11:11

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:30

Additional Information:

Titel im Programm: Self-control strength and mindfulness in sport





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