Footballers are more likely to start practising mindfulness after research showed those who regularly took part in the meditative sessions were less likely to injure themselves.
Abertay University’s sports scientists conducted a study that looked at two groups of 80 young male elite football players.
The test group was made to learn mindfulness techniques before the start of the season, while the control group was simply given information based on the psychology of sport injury. The researchers then monitored the teams throughout training sessions and competitive fixtures to see which suffered more injuries.
According to the findings, 22 players of the mindfulness group hurt themselves in some way, compared to 36 in the control group. This represents 40 per cent fewer injuries, which suggests the tasks they undertook were helpful to keeping them safe on the pitch.
Dr Luis Clameiro of Abertay University’s Division of Sport and Exercise Sciences said: “These results are very meaningful as it suggests that the time invested in a psychological intervention such as mindfulness may result in considerable gains for the teams, not only in the reduction of number of days lost to injury and resultant financial burden, but also on the young athletes’ quality of life.”
The players practised mindfulness for 45 minutes per week for seven weeks, while being reminded to remain present in the moment, focus on their tasks, accept their thoughts and feelings, and improve their commitment.
As well as reporting fewer injuries, they also showed they had a better ability to cope with stress and anxiety, as well as improved attention skills.
In addition to mindfulness, it is essential athletes get into the habit of stretching their muscles, undertaking both static and dynamic routines to increase their range of motion.
Those who do suffer from injuries need to consult a professional sports therapist in Maidenhead straight away.