mPEAK – Mindful Performance Enhancement, Awareness and Knowledge
We offer an adapted version of the mPEAK program. mPEAK is proven mental training for those who seek to attain new levels of performance and focus in their sport, job or life. Developed by the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness, it draws on the latest neuroscientific studies related to peak performance, resilience, focus, and “flow”. The mPEAK program uses empirically supported practices and exercises drawn from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program and resiliency training in the US military. Mindfulness is effective because it is a way of being and related to all aspects of life including athletic and workplace performance. As with physical training, this mind training program is based upon the understanding that optimal outcomes occur most often when participants engage in the practices and exercises on a daily basis as a part of regular training. The program includes meditation and mindful movement, such as yoga, and emphasizes aspects of mindfulness that athletes are especially likely to struggle with, such as developing “self-compassion” to deal with perfectionism, to deal with negative self-talk and performance stories.
What separates the top few from the many within sport? The difference between a pedestrian performance and a peak performance begins and ends with your state of mind.
Do you train your mind like you train your body? To prepare for a competition we generally train and prepare in four ways:
- Physical (strength)
- Technical (proper technique)
- Tactical (race strategy)
- Psychological (mind-set)
Often we neglect the last one. Research shows that winning is somewhere between 40-50% mental. mPEAK addresses this.
mPEAK Mental Training includes:
- Train resiliency – learn how to relate to misses and losses in a way that enhances performance.
- Attitude – notice any negative attitude and let them go. Foster and harness positive attitudes. Self-talk – positive. So not “don’t pull the stroke to past the hip”, but rather “finish the stroke at the hip”. Be on the look-out for negative self-talk and let it go. Notice how positive self-talk feels and how you perform with it.
- Train attention and focus using meditation. Be in the moment when performing rather than focused on the outcome.
- Imagery – visualize to actualize – vividly see yourself performing successfully, deeply feel yourself performing masterfully, and thoroughly enjoy seeing and feeling yourself winning. Visualize positive performances. Create a clear image of physical feeling, including sights, sounds and tactile impressions. From your eyes, and not that of a spectator.
For more information see the recent Globe and Mail article.
MBSR Ottawa offers a modified version of mPEAK. The standard mPEAK program is an 8-week course built around four core sessions (3 hours per session) with four foundational practice sessions (2-hours per session) interwoven to solidify and deepen the practice and skills being taught in the core sessions. The compressed format is over 8 weeks with four core sessions and online support for foundational practices.
This program is designed for members of the general public, as well as for professionals who wish to integrate mindfulness practice into their work, sport or other challenging endeavors.