White Paper- Shepardspy


  1. Mindfulness meditation in basketball can increase free throw shooting.
  2. Mindfulness meditation in basketball can increase recovery.


  • Shaabani, F., Naderi, A., Borella, E., & Calmeiro, L. (2020). Does a brief mindfulness intervention counteract the detrimental effects of ego depletion in basketball free throw under pressure? Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 9(2), 197–215. https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000201

In December of 2017, an experiment was conducted to examine the presence of mindfulness on ego depletion in basketball players’ free throw shooting. The study consisted of 72 experienced male players split into 4 groups: depletion/mindfulness, no depletion/mindfulness, depletion/no mindfulness, and control (no depletion/on mindfulness). Moreover, participants in the mindfulness intervention used guided 15-minute audio, while the participants with no mindfulness intervention listened to an audiobook. Before and after these interventions, players shot 30 free throws. Results proved that after ego depletion, participants’ free throw shooting performance declined. However, the implementation of practicing mindfulness after ego depletion maintained players’ free-throw performance similar to the control group. 

Hearing this makes me consider if practicing mindfulness can improve the quality of others’ lives. For example, the implementation of daily mindfulness can reduce the effects of mental illnesses like PTSD or OCD. This is why we must recognize other forms of treatment before prescribing individuals numerous drugs to “help them”. 

  • Thakur, S., Tara, Mahesh, Chanda. (2016). Enhancement in Shooting ability of Basketball players through Meditation. Research Journal of Physical Education Sciences Vol. 4(4), 1-4, May (2016).

A study was conducted to investigate the effect of meditation on basketball players’ shooting abilities. The study consisted of 30 players separated into two groups: an experimental group and a control group. Before anything, each player underwent shooting skill tests, which were known as their pretest scores. From there, the experimental group went through a 6-week program consisting of basic meditation, mindfulness meditation, and concentration meditation. After the completion of the program, both groups retook the shooting skills test to explore if the meditation had any effects. Comparing both the pre and post-tests, it was apparent that the controlled group had no significant difference. However, within the experimental group, there was a significant improvement in the players shooting abilities, concluding that the innervation of meditation came with positive repercussions. It is believed that this is because practicing meditation aids individuals in focusing their attention and sustaining it on specific tasks. 

With that being said, I can’t help but think that by regularly practicing meditation, I can improve my ability to focus on academic tasks. Moreover, as someone who lives with ADHD, focusing has always been a difficult task for me. To combat this issue, I have been prescribed various medications like Adderall, Focalin, and Ritalin. Although these do help, they come with some negative side effects like loss of appetite, dry-mouth, and etc. Therefore, considering the practice of meditation as something to treat disorders like mine should be considered as a potential solution.

  • Brand S, Holsboer-Trachsler E, Naranjo J, R, Schmidt S: Influence of Mindfulness Practice on Cortisol and Sleep in Long-Term and Short-Term Meditators. Neuropsychobiology 2012:109-118. doi: 10.1159/000330362. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/330362#

A study was conducted to see the effects mindfulness had on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical system activity (HPA SA) and sleep. The experiment consisted of 20 participants, 9 of whom were consistent practitioners of mindfulness and 11 beginners. To begin the study, each person had their cortisol levels measured and completed a self sleep questionnaire. From there the Novice participants underwent an 8-week mindfulness stress reduction course, while the experienced participants continued their daily practice. At the end of the 8 weeks, each participant again had their cortisol levels measured and reported the quality of their sleep. It was found that in all participants cortisol levels had decreased and sleep quality had improved. 

The results from this study thus prove that mindfulness can enhance recovery in basketball players. Moreover, basketball is a physically demanding sport as it requires acute usage of the muscular system and joints. This is why sleep is a vital factor not only in overall bodily recovery but in muscular and joint recovery as well. Therefore, the implementation of mindfulness practice can improve sleep quality allowing basketball players to adequately recoup for the future. 

  • Coaccioli S, Varrassi G, Giorno RD, Pace MC, Sansone P, et al. (2016) Meditation as a Useful Chance for Chronic Pain Decrease. J Psychiatry 19: 369 doi:10.4172/2378-5756.1000369

An experimental study was conducted to examine the effects meditation has on chronic pain (CP). Moreover, the study consisted of 28 participants who suffered from some form of chronic pain. Within this group, 16 suffered from lower back pain (LBP), while 12 suffered from osteoarthritis of the knee (K. OA). The participants were split into two groups: experts in meditation and non-experts in meditation. To begin, their basal CP was recorded after the completion of a 15-day non-meditative practice. From there, each participant underwent daily meditation practices for the next 5 days using the vipassana method, a mindfulness practice allowing participants to examine and observe their thoughts as they are. The results showed an overall decrease in CP in all participants, with a higher decrease in those who were experts in meditation. 

The results of this study conclude that mindfulness meditation can reduce chronic pain. It is something that can serve as a great practice for basketball players as chronic knee pain is something extremely apparent within the sport. By doing this players can experience lower pain and reduce the chances of drug dependence. Therefore, lessening this issue through practicing mindfulness should be considered first over any drug prescribed.

An experiment was conducted to see how basketball players’ emotions affect their performance. The study consisted of 138 experienced basketball players. To start the experiment, each participant completed a Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation-II (BFNE-II) questionnaire. From there, players took a total of 50 shots from 5 different spots under low and high-pressure conditions. The results of this study showed that those who experienced high Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE) had increased anxiety and decreased performance in high-pressure conditions. Those who experienced low-FNE had little to no difference when it came to high-pressure conditions. This study shows the impact that emotions have on a player’s performance. Thus making the need for the addition of mindfulness practice very important. This is since practicing mindfulness can reduce participants’ anxiety. Therefore, implementing it as something for basketball players who experience high-FNE can drastically improve their performance in high-pressure situations. 

Topics for Smaller Papers

  • Definition/Classification Argument

What practicing mindfulness is like and what it is not like.

  • Cause/Effect Argument

The innervation of practicing mindfulness is required.

  • Rebuttal Argument

Opting out of practicing mindfulness only can harm players’ shooting performance.

Current State of Research

My current state of research is going smoothly after meeting with you. Before the meeting, I was lost and nervous, however after going over how to use google scholar and finding sources these feelings have dissipated. As of right now, I am still looking for different sources to help settle on one of the two hypotheses I have come up with. Once settled, I anticipate that my eventual outcome will be a well-written paper that meets the criteria.

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4 Responses to White Paper- Shepardspy

  1. davidbdale says:

    I might as well say this right away, Spy. Your hypothesis is dangerously ambiguous.

    Mindfulness meditation in basketball can increase free throw shooting.

    You can’t afford to confuse your readers. According to your hypothesis, there will be more free throws shot. The only explanation for that would be that mindful basketball players commit more fouls. You see the problem? Yes, I’m annoyingly picky, but . . . .

  2. davidbdale says:

    I’m delighted to see how well you’re using research to find sources showing several benefits of meditation and mindfulness training, Spy. I imagine you could spend weeks gathering dozens more that would create a huge net of benefits and that you’d find yourself able to devote just a few sentences to each. A much more effective paper will benefit from keeping your focus narrow. Of the sources you’ve described here, those that cluster best around a narrow hypothesis have something to contribute directly to the mental condition of the player at the free-throw line while in the act of shooting.

    Certainly better sleep and quicker recovery from injury and exercise will contribute to an athlete’s overall success, but as your most devoted reader, I’m must more interested in knowing what “ego depletion” is, how mindfulness helps the athlete overcome it, and how it combats Fear of Negative Evaluation. I hope you’ll agree, those components of your study alone will be rich enough to answer a small but deeply intriguing question.

    • shepardspy says:

      I really appreciate the comment and am sorry for replying so late. However, I only included the sources surrounding recovery and mindfulness being that I thought I needed two completely different hypotheses therefore I added sources to support both. That is a fault on my end. The insight left is definitely allowing me to narrow in my hypothesis and allowing me to develop a definitional/categorical argument.

      • davidbdale says:

        Not at all. There’s no fault in gathering diverse sources, especially early in the process as you seek to refine your hypothesis. For me, ego depletion and mindfulness at the free-throw line have the early lead, but that could still change. Stay flexible and don’t try to please me unless I persuade you that one course is superior to another.

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