Sports Mental Toughness: Can You Develop It?

mental toughness sportsIn a recent interview with Jack Nicklaus, he was asked if athletes are born having mental toughness. His immediate response was that athletes do not know their fullest potential until they put themselves in situations where they are demanded to perform outside their comfort zone. Athletes are continually asked to take one step further to improve their performance. A thorough preparation leading to perform to one’s best is the only guarantee to building confidence in one’s abilities and trusting in executing when it matters.

The famous basketball coach, John Wooden, also believed that “the score will take care of itself when you take care of the effort that precedes the score.”

Both accomplished individuals believe that success is not something we find when we wake up in the morning and step on the floor with the right versus the left foot first.

Success is based on the conscientious preparation toward winning. Mental toughness is not found, but rather developed. It takes committed effort to dedicate oneself to excel in what we want to achieve.

One of the best strategies to achieve your best is by taking a serious look at each one of your performances. Separate all the positive achievements from the areas that need improvement. Embrace both aspects of your performance rather than punishing yourself for not accomplishing a desired task. After accepting that you have done many things right, then and only then, take a look at what needs to be improved.

Maybe it is your physical shape, or technique that needs to be improved. Maybe it is your mental approach and how consistently you apply strategies that will help you achieve your best.

If you want to develop mental toughness, keep embracing all the aspects of your performance while challenging yourself to continue looking for areas that need improvement.

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