Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Zeljka Vidic

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Michael

Third Advisor

Dr. Carol Weideman


Mindfulness, flow, stress, gymnastics, intervention

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The physical and psychological demands of sports can place an athlete under a variety of stressors. Subsequently, the way in which athletes deal with such stressors can positively or negatively affect their performance (Mellalieu, Hanton, & Fletcher, 2009). Flow is defined as a type of experience where one is completely engaged in an activity and optimally functioning. Recently, an increase in mindfulness and acceptance based approaches have been utilized as a means to augment negative emotions in sport and many have suggested a link between mindfulness and flow (Birrer, Röthlin, & Morgan, 2012; Kaufman, Glass, & Arnkoff, 2009; Gardner & Moore, 2004). Thus, if mindfulness can positively influence flow, perhaps performance can also be positively affected. There has also been a need to determine optimal intervention lengths to successfully teach mindfulness practices within sports teams (Gardner & Moore, 2014; Baltzell & Akhtar, 2014). The purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a mindfulness training program on mindfulness scores, dispositional flow scores, and perceived stress scores within a population of Division I female collegiate gymnasts. Results from a repeated measures ANOVA indicated that athletes who participated in the mindfulness training demonstrated a statistically significant difference in the dispositional flow dimensions of loss of self-consciousness and the autotelic experience. These results suggest that mindfulness may influence factors associated with athletic performance.