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Published on: 04 Apr 2017 by jshaw
Mental toughness is
one of the defining aspects of what makes great athletes, well, great. It’s the
resilience and poise under pressure, it’s the ability to will themselves
through trying stretches of training, and it’s being willing to continually
doubt what others believe is possible.
Here are some powerful
and proven ways that athlete
can become mentally tough. Here we go:
1. Be present in
your workouts and competition. When
we get fixated on the outcome or the results our thoughts tend to get away from
us. Anxiety comes as a result of uncertainty of the eventual outcome, and this
anxiety can end up limiting our performance, generate negative self-talk, and
cause us doubt. Mental toughness is a natural byproduct of focusing on the
things that we control, and staying focused in the present helps to stay dialed
in on the things we can control. During your next workout routine stay in place
mentally, choosing to focus on this set, and this rep and nothing else.
2. Be awesome at
starting. Those who are
mentally tough are able to start. They look at those super intimidating
workouts and training sessions and take it piece meal. They know that once they
get started, momentum and our brain’s natural tendency towards task completion
will see us through the rest. When you master the
habit of starting mental toughness swiftly follows.
yourself regularly. Mentally
tough athletes aren’t afraid to leave their comfort zone. They know that in
order to improve they need to regularly and repeatedly test their own self-imposed
limits. There are a few benefits to doing this. First off, you will improve a
whole lot faster. In itself this is an awesome benefit. The second is that you
will challenge what you think is possible. And thirdly, the confidence from
doing big, tough things is the best kind, the deep, white-hot variety that will
keep you hurtling towards your goals. If it’s piping hot workout motivation that
you want, consistently jabbing your limits is the way to go.
4. Conquer your self-talk. The dialogue and and narrative that we carry
with ourselves has a very real effect on we end up performing in the gym, on
the field, and in the weight room. If you are constantly griping and telling
yourself that you cannot do something, what do you suppose are the odds that
you are actually going to end up doing that thing? At the end of the day, the
thing athletes need to remember most when it comes to trying to be mentally
tougher is that our thoughts direct our actions. Read that again if you have
to—our actions begin and are caused by our thoughts. Choose to be positive and
open to challenge, and you will be well on your way to higher achievement and
becoming more mentally tough.
5. Mental toughness
is a decision. When I
work with young athletes and coaches I frequently get asked, “What can I do to
be more mentally tough?” And the answer always starts with—“Make the decision
to be tough.” If you want the simplest, yet most powerful piece of advice for
mental toughness its to make the decision. Decide to be tough. Make that
decision in the middle of that hard workout. Or in the middle of a brutal
match. While mental toughness is a skill that you can develop and hone, it all
begins with a decision. Be that mentally tough athlete, and reap the benefits
that come along with it.