Mindful Performance Enhancement, Awareness and Knowledge

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This program will be offered to the general public for the first time in the Fall of 2014 at the headquarters of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness in San Diego, and can be made available in different forms at other locations as needed.

If you are interested in receiving more information about this program, signing up yourself, or having our trainers potentially offer it to your team at your site or ours, please:

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mPEAK logo

mPEAK is an intensive course in mindfulness training for those who seek to draw upon this proven practice to achieve their goals, both personal and professional, as well as attain new levels of performance and success. The intensive 8-week program is built around the latest brain research related to peak performance, resilience, focus, and “flow”. The mPEAK program enhances the human capacity of mindfulness through established and empirically supported practices and exercises, tailored to fit the needs and desires of the team, organization or individual. As with physical training, this mental-emotional training program is based upon the understanding that optimal outcomes occur most often when participants continue to engage in the practices and exercises on a daily basis as a part of their training regimen. Mindfulness is effective precisely because it is a way of being and relating to all aspects of life, rather than a specific technique or tool for a particular goal. The foundation of this program is drawn from the highly respected and empirically-supported Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. Additionally, the program incorporates specific practices and exercises formulated to correspond to recent neuroscientific findings, competitive advances, and related research regarding optimal performance.

Program Format

While the curriculum can be tailored for specific settings, teams and organizations, the basic mPEAK program is formulated as 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 practice sessions support the ongoing integration of mindfulness practice into daily routines in the workplace, the training environment or in competition. All sessions provide a forum for dialogue, questions and comments.


BMX Team MeditatesInhabiting Your Body
The first session establishes the body as the primary focus of attention and platform upon which mindfulness unfolds. It is designed to introduce participants to the experience of mindful awareness of the body, including interoception and proprioception.


Getting Out of Your Own Way and Letting Go
The second session is devoted to addressing initial challenges encountered by participants, the universality of the wandering mind and the fruitlessness of trying to stop the mind from wandering. Recognizing “story” and the way in which we think influences how we perform.


Dancing With Pain and Working with Difficulty (Fear, Stress and Failure)
The third session is intended to challenge the notion that avoidance is the best strategy when it comes to difficulty arising (e.g. pain, fear, stress, failure, etc.) and to use the experience of working with the body as a way of grounding oneself in the moment in the face of difficulty.


The Pitfalls of Perfectionism and the Glitch in Goals
This final session deals specifically with the contradictory nature of some concepts and attitudes that seem to be positive, but have some hidden limitations. Perfectionism and self-criticism can seem to be good motivators, but research clearly shows that people perform more effectively when motivated by encouragement, reward and self-compassion. Specific exercises and practices will be taught to address these findings and support people in finding optimal ways to motivate themselves and achieve their goals. A secondary intention of this session is to set the stage for continued regular personal practice of mindfulness through the post-intensive period.


2 Hours Each
These sessions are dedicated to checking in with participants, supporting their ongoing practice through inquiry, discussion and mindfulness practice. Each session will also include a specific relevant topic to focus the meeting and reinforce the importance of continued practice. (Note: These sessions can be offered via Skype or similar means if necessary, but in-person sessions are preferable.)

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What Past Participants Have Said

The mPEAK program was developed in conjunction with the US Olympic BMX Cycling Team in 2014, as a collaboration between the coaches of the team, UC San Diego neuroscientists Drs. Lori Haase and Martin Paulus, and the UCSD Center for Mindfulness leaders Executive Director Dr. Steven Hickman and Managing Director Allan Goldstein.

2014 US Olympic BMX Cycling Team

Below are some of the comments offered by the BMX team members and coaches about the mPEAK program:

“The other day I went on a mountain bike ride in the pouring rain and I was trying to be as mindful as possible and what I found out was it helped me out a lot. I was acknowledging on the way the rain was hitting my skin, the way I was breathing, how cold it was outside, and how bad my legs hurt. It was weird after realizing all of those things happening it all kind of subsided and I was able to just focus on every pedal stroke and every climb more effectively, and I didn't think about the next hill climb I just focused on what was in front of me.” – Jordan

“One thing I have felt on the days where I am unbeatable is a highness awareness of things. As in I'm even more in touch and in tune with my body than I normally am. When that happens I don't worry about anything else other than my body, and that leads to success.” – Connor

“A positive of the course for me was simply being more present. I am able to not worry so much and take time to make decisions. In racing there is no room for hesitation or thinking, and being more present has helped me make better moves and decisions on the track. Not only has it helped me on the track but it has helped me be more aware of everything around me and I find myself constantly coming back to the present and am aware when my mind is throughout the day.” – Nick

“Another thing from the course that has stuck with me is to not attach emotion to a situation. When you have a bad lap, a bad jump or finish bad in a race it is easy to get down on yourself and often times takes away from performing better again because you are thinking about it. I have learned not to go up to the gate worrying about the last lap and simply focusing on what I need to do to have the best lap I possibly can.” – Nick