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How Mindfulness Can Support Athletes' Mental Health and Lead to Optimal Performance

The summer Olympics brought the world together to witness the joys and sorrows of athletes competing at their best to represent their country. This year, as in recent Olympics, the spotlight has been shined on the importance of mental health in creating a well-rounded athlete. The pressures of performing at a high level can rise to a boiling point as coaches, families, and the athletes themselves expect the best.

With all the challenges that an athletes must endure, many may ask what is the best way to support mental health as an athlete? One tool is the practice of mindfulness, which invites the athlete to return again and again the present moment with full acceptance. It is often said in mindfulness practice that the mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Mindfulness practice helps the athlete to train the mind to be a positive friend, supporter, or coach rather than a harsh critic, antagonist, or bully. With a friendly and supportive mind, the athlete is freer to perform the needed actions to be at their best.

In addition, mindfulness can train and strengthen where the attention is focused. The athlete can shift focus from worry, pressure, or negative thoughts by noticing and interacting with the present moment, where the sport is actually happening. Of course, just like building up muscle memory, the mind builds the muscle of

mindfulness with practice and repetition and the results have been extraordinary. Thirteen time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson who said that mindfulness allowed his players to “focus while in action.”

As a former collegiate all-Conference athlete, I suffered from getting in my own head and not allowing myself to perform at the level I was capable. If I could do it over again, I would have incorporated mindfulness into my training regime. Luckily now this training is available for athletes in the Baltimore area and online from anywhere. See the CMHC website for more information.

Mindfulness for Athletes

Improve your game by bringing calm, focus, and confidence into your sport.

Register for a one-time session or 6-week session where the athletes will learn how to apply attention to the present moment to improve performance. By the end of the 6-week session, the athlete will know how to apply mindfulness to their sport to meet their goals and improve their personal performance.

Six-week mindfulness for Athletes Itinerary

1-hour sessions


Group/team discounts available

Week 1 What is mindfulness? Why mindfulness

What is mindfulness? Which athletes use mindfulness and how do they do it? When and where to use mindfulness?

Week 2 How to focus and concentrate on this moment

Where and how to focus attention/concentration? How to use breath, body and sounds to build focus/concentration?

Week 3 Working with thoughts

How to work with thoughts and shifting from critic to supportive inner coach?

Week 4 Working with Emotions

How to stay calm and poised in the midst of an emotional game? How to recognize, and release emotions that are not helping performance and cultivate emotions that do.

Week 5 Developing Confidence and Trust in our ability to perform

How do we become a supportive inner coach and advocate for ourselves?

Week 6 Incorporating mindfulness into your training routine and into life.

How to keep growing the practice of presence and develop a routine to apply mindfulness to daily life?


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