What is the attitude athletes need to get them past the hardships that come with playing sports? What causes some players to win at all costs and some who realize sportsmanship and honor is more important?
We wanted to share with you an inspiring story of a college softball player and the players on both teams that exemplified good sportsmanship and character.
This is what we believe is true Mental Toughness in Sports. Enjoy the story in this video…
Learn Mental Toughness In Sports
How do you get mental toughness in sports?
You need to ask yourself what gets you excited about playing your sport – is it the winning or winning because you earned it?!?
Most athletes agree to play your absolute best in competition and to win on a regular basis; you need mental toughness along with superior physical skills and training.
Mental toughness in sports means you DON’T want to win by forfeit, you won’t be happy just padding your stats against weaker teams or getting the win because of a bad official call. Players who are mentally tough, WANT to compete against the best and throw themselves into challenge at the highest levels possible.
Sara Tucholsky, a petite 5’2” player for Western Oregon University, hit the first home run of her career to break a scoreless tie in their conference playoffs. She drove in 2 runs, but while trotting around the bases, in her excitement, missed touching first base. She realized her error, turned to go back and in a freak accident tore her ACL forcing her knee to give out.
Instead of giving up, she literally crawled back to first base. Her teammates wanted to help, but the umpire warned that if anybody even touched her, she would be called out. The umpire gave her coach the option for Sara to stay on first and get a pinch runner, but it would cancel her home run and be called a single.
In an amazing act of mental toughness, two players from the opposing team ran to first base, picked Sara up and carried her around the bases, dipping her good leg down to touch each base. The umpire gave her the home run as they crossed the plate and then Sara’s own entire team carried her to the dugout.
The opposing team, Central Washington ended up losing the game and Sara’s team won the conference and advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament.
Those two opposing team players wanted to win as badly as anyone out there, but they didn’t want to win by default. They wanted to earn it as much as Sara had earned her home run.
I believe the famous quote “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” for players who are REALLY mentally tough, IS FLAT OUT FALSE.
So that day there were 2 good examples of mental toughness…Sara, who had the “never give up” attitude to stay in the game even if it meant crawling to get her home run and the 2 opposing team players who only wanted to win if they earned it!
Welcoming challenge and diving into tough situations, on purpose, is what mental toughness in sports is all about. Always remember that victory is the sweetest, when you have worked hard to earn it and decide right now this is how you want to achieve mental toughness.
Having this attitude will get you past the hardships that come with playing sports and positively affect all areas of your life.