092 ACT in Sport, Improving Performance through Mindfulness


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In today’s episode I introduce the concept of Acceptance Commitment Therapy or Training (ACT) and Mindfulness with co-author of an excellent book on the topic Dr James Hegarty. In sport it is very easy to get ahead of yourself or dwell on past mistakes impacting on your performance levels. James and I go on to unpick how ACT and Mindfulness principles and tools can support you in this regard so that you can perform better under pressure. Enjoy tuning in.

Key Takeaways:

  • In psychology a lot of work is focused on capturing unhelpful thoughts and looking to change them, with more helpful and positive thoughts. Using ACT and Mindfulness is different where I teach people to attend to their thoughts and pay attention to their body.
  • ACT and Mindfulness can be difficult to get your head around however it is very beneficial, with research backing up it’s use in a range of settings.
  • The six core principles of ACT include; acceptance, defusion, connecting with the present moment, the Observing Self, values and committed action.
  • Mindfulness is where you consciously bring your awareness to the present moment and the here and now.
  • Using ACT and Mindfulness can help you overcome performance anxiety and deal better with nerves.
  • There are simple tools that can help you move on from the inevitable mistakes that we all make in sport.
  • It is a tool that can give you a better chance to find the zone more often.

Connect with Dr James Hegarty:


Email: james@hegartyconsulting.co.nz

Book - ACT in Sport: Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment

Connect with David


Join David @ The Sports Psychology Hub

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN

Useful Resources

Blog: Case study supporting a professional rugby player rehabilitating from injury

Blog: Why you should meditate to improve your sport performance

Blog: 3 Tips to help you overcome setbacks

Useful Podcast Episodes

Podcast Ep013: Karl Morris - How to stay present like a major champion

Podcast Ep016: David Charlton - Observations: Learning From Your Mistakes

Podcast Ep032: David Charlton - How Can I Be Grateful For The Little Things

Podcast Episode 084: Dr Jim Afremow and Phil White - Mental Toughness and The Leaders Mind