1Department of Sport Psychology, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Sport Management, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Hamadan, Hamadan, Iran
Introduction: A mindfulness training course can improve the performance of practical skills (Brunye et al., 2013) but so far no research has been done in Iran to study the effect of mindfulness training on specific football skills (as one of the most popular sports). Therefore, the aim of this research was to study the effect of brief mindfulness intervention on the performance of football penalty kicks under spectator pressure
Methods: The research method was quasi-experimental and its design was pretest-posttest with a control group. Data analysis method was independent t-test and a significance level of 0.05 was determined. Sampling method was available as samples and 28 players from Tehran Youth Football Premier League (age group 17 to 19 years old) were examined in this study. The procedure was as follows; in the pre-test stage; Each participant scored 20 penalties in front of a spectator and their results were recorded. They were then randomly divided into two groups of mindfulness training (n=14) and control (n=14). The members of the intervention group performed mindfulness exercises for 5 sessions of 30 minutes (one day in between). At the end of the course, all subjects were retested.
Results: The results showed that there was a significant difference between the post-test and pre-test scores of the experimental group, but there was no significant difference between the pre-test and post-test results of the control group.
Conclusion: According to the findings, it can be concluded that mindfulness training significantly improved the performance of the players in the experimental group compared to the control group in penalty kicks. Due to the effect of mindfulness training on the performance of football players in penalty kicks, it is suggested that sports psychologists and coaches of football teams use this method to improve the performance of footballers in performing various skills.