Empowering students & athletes to reach their potential
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A structured program designed for students and athletes to learn and practice mindfulness in their day-to-day lives.
The project

How does it work?

Research has shown that people generally remember 50% of what they see and hear, 90% of what they do, and 70% of what they say and write. Plus, some people connect better with art-based activities. That’s why The Mindful Project uses a mixture of different techniques, including guided relaxation, breathing exercises, journaling, and art- and music-based exercises designed specifically for student and athletes.

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What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being fully present in the moment and aware of our thoughts and feelings ­– without judgment, distraction, or confusion. Mindfulness helps us to focus more on our positive thoughts while moving past the negative ones. This allows us to have measured and appropriate responses to the things happening around us, instead of reactions fueled by stress or anxiety. As we learn to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings without judgment, we can better respond to our environment in a calm and productive way. Mindfulness also gives us the tools to recognize and move past negative self-talk. Instead, it trains our brains to embrace mistakes and setbacks as exciting opportunities for personal growth. In this way, being mindful boosts our confidence and increases positive thoughts and emotions.

Mindfulness cultivates....

Icon of a person seated in a meditative pose
Emotional awareness

Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions, concentrating on the positive and moving past the negative.

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Self-acceptance

Create a positive cycle of self-talk and acceptance, turning negative thoughts into productive ones.

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Purposeful focus

Use steady, measured breathing techniques to focus your mind and your body in the moment.

Why does mindfulness matter?

When mindfulness is boiled down to “being aware,” it might not seem that important. But when we consider it as “paying attention,” suddenly that sounds more applicable. Paying attention to what we’re learning in class, paying attention to the ball on the field, paying attention to how we’re feeling during a conversation – these are just some examples of being engaged in the moment. And the research is clear: being mindful has a host of benefits for students and athletes.

  • Higher levels of self-compassion and positive self-talk

  • Lower levels of stress and anxiety

  • Higher levels of empathy and compassion for others

  • Decreased symptoms of depression

  • Increased personal confidence

  • Greater feeling of community among students and teammates

  • Expanded critical thinking skills

  • Improved study habits and test-taking abilities

  • Fewer behavioral issues and incidents of bullying

  • Improved planning and organizational skills

What do teachers, parents, and students have to say?

  • Teachers say that their students seem more relaxed and focused and have fewer behavioral issues after practicing mindfulness. They also notice both improved academic performance and emotional regulation in the classroom, and that their students show increased self-compassion and confidence.

  • Students describe themselves as feeling calmer and more under control, more helpful towards their fellow classmates, and optimistic about their future. Many of them specifically feel that mindfulness training helps them achieve these new behaviors, and, even better, that they actually enjoy the mindfulness training sessions!

  • Parents report noticing that their kids are better able to focus and remain calm at home. When the kids experience a stressful situation, they are able to stop, take a breath, recognize how they’re feeling, and shift perspective to create a less emotional, more positive reaction.

  • Athletes mentioned the same benefits that students noticed, as well as several sports-specific upsides: improved awareness and focus, feeling more “in the zone” during the game, and decreased feelings and symptoms of burnout.

Who we are

The Co-founders

The founding brains behind The Mindful Project belong to a professional soccer player, two-time Olympian and four-time FIFA Women’s World Cup competitor; and a university professor and women’s soccer coach with a Doctorate in Mindfulness Research.

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Rachel and Erin, the co-founders of the mindful project