South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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Mindfulness and mental toughness among provincial adolescent female hockey players

S.P. Walker


Introduction: Mental toughness is highly valued within competitive sport. However, scant attention has been paid to the psychological processes that underpin mental toughness.

Objectives: To explore the relationship between mindfulness and mental toughness among provincial adolescent female hockey players.

Methods: Provincial adolescent female hockey players (N=484) completed measures of mindfulness and mental toughness. Correlation coefficients were calculated with respect to mindfulness and mental toughness. A one-way between-groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine whether athletes assigned to four levels of mindfulness (high, moderate, medium and low) differed significantly with regard to mental toughness.

Results: Mindfulness exhibited significant positive correlations with confidence, constancy and control, as well as with total mental toughness. The results of the ANOVA and the relevant post hoc analyses indicated that athletes in the high mindfulness group reported significantly higher levels of control and general mental toughness than those in the other three groups. The high mindfulness participants also reported significantly higher levels of constancy than those in the medium and low mindfulness groups.

Conclusion: Mindfulness was positively correlated with all aspects of mental toughness investigated in this study. In addition, individuals with high levels of mindfulness reported higher control, constancy and general mental toughness than those with lower levels of mindfulness. Based on the current findings, the role of mindfulness in the development and maintenance of mental toughness among adolescent athletes warrants further investigation.

Keywords: mental toughness, mindfulness, athlete, adolescent, female
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