Watch this interview with Craig, the Mental Toughness Trainer, on how to develop mental toughness to see what stops athletes from mental toughness and how to break through those problems.
How Do You Develop Mental Toughness?
“Success in life is a matter not so much of talent as of concentration and perseverance.” C.W. Wendte
Repetitive training and natural ability can only get you so far.
We see talented players all the time still…
- Choking in clutch situations
- Suffering from performance anxiety
- Getting intimidated by opponents
- Performing well in practice, but losing it in competition
Think about it, haven’t you already tried lots of different things to deal with these issues…
And you are still having them!
Most sports psychologists just advise you to block out distractions and “visualize yourself winning.” That is not enough!!!
Athletes need to reprogram their negative and limiting beliefs at the core where they originate. Surface talk and affirmations aren’t enough and will never make long lasting change.
The athlete must connect to their inner mind and take control of the mechanisms that run our emotions. Only then can they truly achieve mental toughness.
“No building is better than its structural foundation and no man is better than his mental foundation.” John Wooden
My definition of mental toughness is when you are: Focused, Confident, Determined and Resilient…especially under pressure.
Focused Most athletes have no idea how to improve their focus. I remind them that they are able to watch a movie or play a game and are completely focused. This helps them realize they have the capability to focus; they just need to learn how to bring that ability over to their sport.
Confident I’ve heard it said that confidence comes from success. Well then how do you get success when you don’t feel confident? The answer lies in redefining success!
Start by acknowledging your small, simple accomplishments and focusing on what you do right. You build confidence like a building, brick by brick, little by little.
Determination This is what separates the good from the great players. You don’t make it into the elite sports world without it. Determination comes from constantly thinking about your higher reasons or bigger picture for playing. It has to be more than just the thrill of winning to sustain you.
When you play for a higher cause like your commitment to your family, yourself and your dreams or honoring your faith and belief systems, then your determination will go into overdrive.
Resilient Every athlete will make mistakes or has some failure – it’s inevitable and part of playing sports. The players with real mental toughness though, know how to bounce back from that loss or choke.
All skills are perfected through the process of failure. Embrace loss as a necessary part of improvement.
While one athlete can be destroyed by a setback, another will learn from that same setback and use it to get fired up for next time.
This skill gets improved by practice and looking at situations in new ways. Athletes need to train their minds to think, “Everything that happens, makes me stronger, more intelligent and a better athlete.”
Be sure to leave your comments below and share this post by clicking the links below. We appreciate your involvement!
If you want to learn more about how to develop mental toughness go to: Youth Sports Mental Toughness to get your free guided visualization .mp3 download: “Perform Under Pressure” that your child can listen to on their ipod right before a game to get into a peak performance zone.
Craig Sigl, the Mental Toughness Trainer