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Mindful self-reflection to support sustainable high-performance coaching: a process evaluation of a novel method development in elite sport

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High-performance coaches (HPCs) operate in complex and unpredictable environments wherein sustainable performance and well-being are regularly challenged. The purpose of this study was to develop, through an iterative process of data collection, evaluation and action, a brief SMS-based mindful self-reflection intervention to support sustainable high-performance coaching. We present this work through the form of a process evaluation. After an initial pilot intervention, three subsequent phases of development took place with 18 HPCs from athletics and figure skating. In each phase, HPCs completed a daily or weekly brief mindful self-reflection SMS-intervention for 8 weeks prior to taking part in a focus group interview and 6-month or 12-month follow-up. The results of the process evaluation demonstrate exceptionally high fidelity, reach and perceived value of the intervention for the HPCs. The HPCs also perceived the intervention to influence key mechanisms for a sustainable profession such as greater engagement in their well-being (e.g., self-awareness, helpful perspective on vulnerability and self-compassion). Moreover, lasting behavior changes associated with sustainability were reported at 6- and 12-month follow-ups. This process evaluation reflects a rigorously developed and novel procedure for the delivery of a brief mindful self-reflection intervention and appears easy to use by HPCs in their demanding roles.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Early online date7 May 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 7 May 2021


  • Mindful_self_reflection_to_support_sustainable

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Applied Sport Psychology on 07/05/2021, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 461 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 7/05/22

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