Maximize Your Game by Mastering these 5 Mental Toughness Skills
There are many pieces that go into maximizing human abilities, but from my direct experiences working with elite-level athletes I have found certain specific components to be consistently present. The good news is that these mental toughness “pillars of success” are concepts that we can all improve upon if we are committed to becoming the best that we can be in life. By “committing” I mean that you have dedicate direct and ongoing efforts and actions, not simply think about how good you could be if you actually improved in these areas.
Maximize your talents
No matter how good you are right now, chances are you can get even better by strengthening mental toughness. Raw talent alone will only take you so far, but athletes who develop their focus, self-confidence, and resiliency inevitably reach their full athletic potential. Listed below are 5 of the biggest mental toughness variables linked to maximizing athletic abilities, and they are areas of training that every athlete can develop.
- Focus. Knowing exactly where to direct focus, as well as being able to sustain focus (especially during stressful times) is critically important when developing athletic abilities. While this may sound easy, when you consider all the outside distractions while competing (i.e. the crowd, a bad call, pressures to succeed, etc) maintaining focus might be one of the more challenging mental toughness skills to develop.
- Conviction. Playing with passion and intensity is much more likely to occur when athletes find intrinsic motivation, or the type of motivation that comes from within and doesn’t depend on others, or even tangible rewards. When athletes compete for their own reasons they often develop a conviction that leads to greater motivation, better focus, and stronger resiliency.
- Discipline. Maintaining a specific diet and training schedule are examples of discipline, as is staying focused on goals (especially during tough times). Discipline is often challenged by other life activities that take us away from our goals, and can include parties, eating poorly, or sleeping in too long.
- Hard work. Yes, there is no substitute for putting in the time if you want to be great at what you do. What this means is that if you want to achieve excellence, you can’t cut corners, skip workouts, or blow off responsibilities.
- Resiliency. It’s not a question of if you will fail, but when. What this means is that life is full of stress, adversity, frustration, and failure, so the better you galvanize your stress response and resiliency, the more likely you will blow past the competition during tough times.
Believe in your abilities and almost anything is possible. The key, however, is not just identifying targets to improve, but actually putting in the efforts needed to be the best. Remember, the best athletes you will face this year likely are the first ones to practice, and the last ones to leave — can you match (or beat) their mental toughness?