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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Arthur-Cameselle, Jessyca

Second Advisor

Keeler, Linda

Third Advisor

Suprak, David N., (David Nathan)


Pressure situations in sport can be a source of anxiety for athletes (Craft, Magyar, Becker, & Feltz, 2003). Research indicates that a brief mindfulness training can improve math performance under pressure (Brunye et al., 2013); however, no known studies have examined the effects of mindfulness practice on an athletic performance under pressure. Therefore, this experiment investigated the effects of a brief mindfulness training on basketball free-throw shooting under pressure. Participants were 32 college-aged (Mage = 21.29), male competitive basketball players. Participants shot 20 free-throws in a low-pressure phase, then were pair-matched by free-throws made and randomly assigned to mindfulness (n = 16) or control (n = 16) conditions. Pressure was induced before participants listened to a 15-minute mindfulness or history of basketball recording. Next, free-throws made and free-throw shot quality were recorded for 20 free-throws. A mixed ANOVA revealed that during the high-pressure phase, the experimental groups’ free-throw shooting average (M = 70.6%) was not statistically significantly different from the control groups’ (M = 61.6%). Results of an ANCOVA revealed that the mindfulness group’s shot quality was higher than the control group’s during the high-pressure phase and approached a statistically significant difference when controlling for trait mindfulness (F = 2.33, p = .051, Ƞp2 = .13). During the high-pressure phase, the mindfulness group reported statistically significantly lower levels of cognitive anxiety (t = 2.06, p = .048) and somatic anxiety (t = 2.67, p = .014) than the control group. Although the brief mindfulness intervention did not have a statistically significant effect on performance, the findings are discussed in terms of practical significance. The mindfulness group’s significantly lower anxiety indicates that mindfulness training may improve athletes’ subjective experience during pressure situations.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Mindfulness (Psychology); Anxiety--Testing; Athletic ability--Testing; Free throw (Basketball)




masters theses




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Kinesiology Commons