On April 18th, U.S. Soccer and Major League Soccer announced a three-year partnership with Headspace – the world’s leading meditation and mindfulness app. As part of this agreement, Headspace will provide app subscriptions to all U.S. Soccer and MLS athletes, coaches and league and club staff. Additionally, Headspace will conduct in-person training sessions with U.S. Soccer and MLS athletes at various MLS events and U.S. Soccer training camps.
The partnership doesn’t end there, though. The benefits of this partnership will also extend to every athlete, coach, and club staff at the National Women’s Soccer League. Furthermore, Headspace will create personalized training programs tailored to each individual athlete on the U.S. Women’s National Team as they head to France to try and repeat as FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions.
“Not only will this partnership help all of our players’ performance on-the-field, but it will also have significant impact on their wellness off-the-field… Through this partnership with Headspace, we now have the expertise and technology to ensure that all of our players’ needs are being supported as they work towards their goals” – James Bunce, U.S. Soccer Director of High Performance
Soccer, especially at this high a level, is a sport that carries a level of pressure that weighs heavily on the shoulders of everyone involved – yes, that also includes the non-athletes who work to make the sport thrive behind the scenes. Mental conditioning, both on and off the field, is often the most under-resourced aspect of wellness and it is a welcome advancement to see U.S. Soccer and MLS begin to turn the tides on what has been a major problem in player and staff health. Most interestingly, Headspace and U.S. Soccer, MLS will work together to explore scientific research opportunities around the benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
It will be interesting to follow this partnership and see just how helpful meditation is to those involved in the sport of soccer. This is a welcomed partnership that should help many combat mental health and hopefully create for more healthy individuals within the sport we all love.