The Smiling Mind Sport Program has been designed in partnership with Cricket Australia’s Sport Psychology Team to improve wellbeing and performance, both during training and when competing. It delivers strategies to avoid negative thinking, underperformance and exhaustion and at the same time, promote heightened concentration, awareness and efficacy.The program is accessible and usable by professionals and amateurs alike and is applicable within structured training routines or whilst kicking the footy in the park.
Meditation is a well-regarded tool for creating superior athletic performance. Research at the French Institute of Sport showed that integrating mindfulness and meditation into training programs enhanced performance and improved the efficacy of sports routines.(1)
Designed to complement regular sports training schedules for either individuals or clubs, the Smiling Mind Sport Program is accessible and usable by professionals and amateurs alike and is applicable within structured training routines or whilst kicking the footy in the park.Mindfulness has significant relevance to sport due to human nature’s tendency to over-think and think ineffectively from a performance perspective, particularly under pressure. This combined with the fact that skills need to be executed with a high degree of precision means that the mismanagement of thoughts and emotions can significantly detract from performance.However, if players can exist, train and play with greater mental clarity, control and attention via regular practice of Mindfulness Meditation and exercises there is no doubt the positive affect that it will have on skill execution, performance consistency and mental toughness.The Smiling Mind Program is designed:
to increase levels of attention and focus
to improve reflection skills
to enable people to make better decisions under pressure
to increase resilience and general health and wellbeing.
Check our Smiling Mind Ambassadors Brett Kirk and Justin Langer explaining the importance of mental toughness in sport, and how meditation can help achieve clarity, precision and elite performance.
The program has been developed in conjunction with clinical and sports psychologists to complement existing physical training programs and can be used in a variety of ways, including:
As part of pre game preparation
As part of post game recovery process
During group or individual training sessions
As a general supplement and support to a physical training program.
The Smiling Mind Sport Program has been designed in partnership with Cricket Australia’s Sport Psychology Team to improve wellbeing and performance, both during training and when competing. It delivers strategies to avoid negative thinking, underperformance and exhaustion and at the same time, promote heightened concentration, awareness and efficacy.The program is designed so that you can do it at your own pace and in your own time. Coaching or support staff can direct a team or individual to certain exercises, or that might help to develop specific skills. Alternatively, an individual can have a play and see which exercises suit them best.The program consists of four modules which explore six elements of mindful applications in sport:
1) Tuning Into Your Surroundings
2) Working Mindfully with Emotions
Personal insight and empathy
Emotional self regulation
General wellbeing and positive mindset
3) Mindful Movement
Enhanced body awareness via kinesthetic-based practices
Pre-match and pre-training
4) Sharpening the Concentration
5) Mindful Walking
Slow down thoughts
Post-match and post-training
6) Getting Rid Of Tension
In addition, we have included a series of Daily Mindfulness Guides from our regular Smiling Mind program which we would recommend doing daily outside of your game/team, related milestones:
Daily Mindfulness Guides
Observes and counts the breath as a way of being in the present moment
Acknowledges the nature of the wandering mind
Encourages whole body awareness by observing sensations bringing awareness and attention to the breath.
5 minutes +
7 minutes +
Observes that the mind loves to wander
Explores using thoughts as the object of meditation
Encourages non-judgement of and non-attachment to thoughts
6 minutes +
Acknowledges the constant presence of emotions
Encourages non-judgement of and non-attachment to emotions
How to sign up and get started
To implement the Smiling Mind program for yourself or your sporting club please complete the free sign up process here. (Note this will sign you up for the Sport Program only. To sign up to multiple programs at once, click here.)We ask you to register so we can keep in contact with you whilst you are administering the program. Once registered, you will have access to a pdf Program Manual and be able to download the .mp3 audio meditation files.
Please note, we are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Should Smiling Mind wish to use any personal information provided, we will only do so upon receiving written permission from yourself or your organisation.
1 Bernier, M., Thienot, E., Codron, R., Fournier, J. Mindfulness and Acceptance Approaches in Sport Performance. (2009) "Journal of Clinical Sports Psychology, 4: 320-333"
Brett Kirk former Captain Sydney Swans Football Club and current Assistant Coach at Fremantle Dockers
“Smiling Mind recognises the importance in taking time out
to reflect. It’s key to maintaining a healthy mind and combines my love for both meditation and education. I’m excited to see the two working together to create happier young Australians.”
Greg Chappell former Captain Australian Cricket Team
“Managing the mental environment in the ‘down time’ is the key to expressing one’s talent. All of the physical ‘practice’ time in the world will not improve performance without an equivalent time spent training the mind.”
Cameron McEvoy 2012 Olympic Swimmer
“After completing even one session of the Smiling Mind program I noticed an immediate, positive difference. This is such a great program – for athletes, young people and anybody wanting to manage stress and increase their levels of wellbeing.”
As you may have noticed, Smiling Mind is a unique organisation. Since all of Smiling Mind’s programs are offered free of charge, we rely solely on donations to operate. If you believe in what we are doing and care to make a donation, you will be helping us to continue providing our programs as well as growing and improving them Thank you in advance for your support.
Click here to donate - and thanks in advance, this will go a long way to creating healthier, happier young Australians.