What is mental toughness in sports? How can it help you?
Mental toughness is the ability to cope with adversity, keep your confidence high, be focused and stay composed in competition.
Mental toughness gives athletes the ability to perform to their highest potential under the most stressful conditions or important competitions. Mental toughness helps you perform more consistently by improving focus, confidence and emotional control when under pressure.
Mental toughness fuels your ability to overcome obstacles such as mistakes, bad games, injuries and other setbacks.
Mental toughness gives you the motivation to learn the physical and mental skills necessary to compete your best against the toughest competition and to, ultimately, achieve your goals.
I think you agree that mental toughness is critical for all athletes…
The next question is: How can you develop or improve your mental toughness? You have to understand the ingredients to improve mental toughness.
Strategies to developing mental toughness:
- Focus on achieving your goals and, when things don’t go your way, learn and move forward.
- Stay optimistic especially during rough patches.
- Overcome fear of failure by getting in the habit of taking risks.
- Identify situations where you normally backed down or were not mentally tough and find different ways to respond.
- During difficult skills, training sets or practices have a “go-for-it” mentality.
- In competition, use mentally tough self-talk such as, “I will be at my best,” “Nothing can stop me,” and, “I will push through.”
Mental toughness does not happen by chance. You have to commit to mental toughness. It cannot be a once-in-a-while thing. You should commit to improving your mental game every day!