The Mental Game: How talent and mental toughness can lead to success for athletes

The Mental Game: How talent and mental toughness can lead to success for athletes

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Game: How talent and mental toughness can lead to success for athletes is founded by Shayne McGowan, based on the concept of creating a superior standard of training for athletes on and off the field. McGowan is a certified mental game coaching professional. He has studied at Cal State University and has played football in college and briefly in the pros. He is a member of Coaches of Canada and NCCP certified, has 30 years fitness background as a trainer. He has done interviews on Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, NFL Spin Zone, NFL Showtime, BlogTalkRadio and writes for Train fitness magazine.

Most athletes and spectators assume the most talented team or athletes should always win. Often, the mentally tough team wins out. I’m sure you played a superior opponent but pulled off the upset. How did you accomplish this feat? Did you out think your opponent? Did you have the “I-have-nothing-to-lose” mindset? Did you out-prepare your opponent?

There are a number of reasons why the more talented team loses. Sometimes talented teams rely on their talent to pull out victories. Some teams or athletes may underestimate their opponents. They may not prepare for a tough battle.

They may have a false sense of security because they see themselves as better. They may only play hard at the end of a game when the score is closer than they thought it would be.

Winning requires a combination of different things, including talent, desire, and mental toughness.

So what are the components of mental toughness?

  • The will to prepare – Winning starts with full mental, physical and tactical preparation. Preparation is your battle plan. How do you need to prepare to ensure victory?
  • Relentlessness – Winning requires that you push forward no matter what challenges you face.
  • High effort or intensity – Success is always a matter of effort. Winners seek to outwork the opponents and dictate the flow of the game for the entire game.
  • Focus on constant improvement – Winners do not buy into the attitude that “good is good enough.” Winners seek to continually develop and achieve their true potential.
  • Motivation – Winners are driven to achieve a mutually agreed upon objective. All behavior in practice, training, and games is directed towards achieving this goal.
  • Habit – A winning mindset needs to be consistent. Winning requires that you put everything on the line every day.


More USA TODAY High School Sports