An SEP faculty member blended a worldwide group of experts in a publication highlighting mindful, joyful living.
Sam Zizzi, Dr. Pat Fehl Endowed Professor, along with Mark B. Andersen, an adjunct professor at Halmstad University in Sweden, published “Being Mindful in Sport and Exercise Psychology: Pathways for Practitioners and Students.”
Although Zizzi and Andersen co-authored the book, chapter topic research was contributed by Sport Psychology scholars from New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Australia, and the United States.
“From start to finish, the project took about two years from proposal to publication,” Zizzi said. “Some of the chapter authors had been working on their projects for a couple more years and re-worked them for the book.”
The collaboration includes individual practices from all contributors, and acts as a handbook on current mindfulness research. This literature is for those who feel a need to become more well-versed in mindfulness practices.
“The point of the book is help people in our field become more compassionate, joyful, and mindful in their personal and professional lives,” Zizzi said.
“This process starts with practicing some form of mindfulness training such as meditation or yoga and then translating this state into our interactions with coaches, athletes and other clients. If we can be present in these encounters, our clients will have a different, potentially more meaningful experience.”
Zizzi, who has been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years and doing daily yoga for five years, and Andersen aim to change the industry narrative that mindfulness is only helpful in sport and exercise scenarios.
“Using mindfulness to enhance athletic performance misses the key point,” Zizzi said. “We believe, and the evidence supports us, that the most profound changes are intra and interpersonal in nature.
“The book integrates current research evidence regarding mindfulness-based interventions, theories connected to mindfulness, and case studies that show examples of how and when mindfulness can be effective in sport settings. [Andersen and I] both had a strong personal interest in the topic and felt the field was missing the point on the core concepts.”
“Being Mindful in Sport and Exercise Psychology: Pathways for Practitioners and Students” retails for $53 on FiT Publishing’s website and around $34 on Amazon. It is split into three parts: Fundamentals of Mindfulness, A Brief, Impressionistic History of Paying Attention: The Roots of Mindfulness, and Mindful Connections.
“The field has started to pay more attention to these concepts and techniques in recent years and our book was one of the first of its kind to be published in our field,” Zizzi said.