Getting to Another Level: Why Basketball Players Use Mindfulness Meditation

By Janet M. C. Burns.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This research reports on the beliefs held by a small group of Canadian basketball players on whether or not practicing mediation helps them better cope with the challenges of playing their game. Contrary to the usual expectations, the research demonstrates that these players believe that calmness and clarity rather than anger and aggression produce athletic excellence. The methodological framework is a modified ethnography. The data are anecdotal and collected through one-on-one conversations held between the basketball players (N=10) and a participant observer. The findings suggest that for most of these athletes, mindfulness meditation is generally believed to encourage positive dispositions that are believed to improve their athletic performance. Interpreted from a sociological perspective, these findings suggest that a regular practice of meditation could be a useful tool for people facing the challenges of and transforming an increasingly speedy, complex, and competitive daily life.

Keywords: Mindfulness Meditation, Athletic Performance, Positive Dispositions, Norbert Elias

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2016, pp.81-95. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 935.524KB).

Dr. Janet M. C. Burns

Professor, Department of Social Science, University of New Brunswick, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada