Development of non-functional overreaching and overtraining syndrome: does habitual mindfulness have a buffering effect?

Birrer, Daniel; Röthlin, Philipp; Horvath, Stephan (11 June 2021). Development of non-functional overreaching and overtraining syndrome: does habitual mindfulness have a buffering effect? In: Journées d'études de la Société Française de Psychologie du Sport (SFPS) 2021. Brest. 09.-11. Jun. 2021.

[img] Text
Birrer_2021_Development of non-functional overreaching and overtraining syndrome_JESFPS_Vortrag.pdf
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (139kB)

Introduction: Non-functional overreaching (NFOR) and overtraining syndrome (OTS) are highly feared phenomena in competitive sports. Research has suggested the multifactorial aetiology of NFOR/OTS and causes, symptoms and consequences are almost identical with the ones of adjustment disorder (AD). Additionally, mindfulness and acceptance based approaches and their stress-buffering role have been shown to be effective in the treatment of AD. This contribution aims to explore the stress-buffering effect of habitual mindfulness on the development of overtraining states viewed as a sport-specific form of AD. Methodology: 580 athletes (women=320; men=260; Mage=21.3) from 6 different sports completed a17-item survey about underperformance and symptoms of NFOR/OTS in their past career and the Comprehensive Inventory of Mindfulness Experience. Athletes were classified as NFOR/OTS or no-overreaching (NO)/functional overreaching (FOR) according to the overtraining definition of the ECSS. Data were analysed using logistic regression and ANOVA. Results: NO/FOR athletes revealed significantly higher habitual mindfulness values in present moment awareness, acceptance and metacognitive awareness than athletes classified as NFOR/OTS. Logistic and multinomial regression suggested that especially acceptance might have an influence on the buffering effect on the development of NFOR/OTS. An enhancement of 1 unit in acceptance reduces the risk of being in the NFOR/OTS group by 55%. Discussion Although OTS and AD are multi-causal phenomena, habitual mindfulness seems to have a buffering influence on the development of these maladaptive psychological processes. In this context, the process of acceptance seems to play a significant role. Nevertheless, the role of present-moment awareness and meta-cognitive awareness should be further investigated.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen SFISM > EHSM - Leistungssport > Sportpsychologie


Birrer, Daniel;
Röthlin, Philipp0000-0003-2268-571X and
Horvath, Stephan




Service Account

Date Deposited:

21 Jul 2022 15:45

Last Modified:

21 Jul 2022 15:45

Related URLs:

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Maladjustment Overtraining Adjustment disorder Mindfulness Acceptance




Actions (login required)

View Item View Item
Provide Feedback