You scored (out of 20):
Advanced Mental Toughness – The Lion:
While you might know the value of mental toughness, and have used some simple tools to help you gain the mental edge at key moments, you are far from having mastered your mental game. You are a lion – you know what you want, you know how to get it, you have the physical capabilities to do so; however, your mind doesn’t always keep up with your physical desires and capabilities. Just like a lion can sleep for 18-20 hours a day to deal with the African ‘heat’, but be incredibly active, athletic, and alert when awake, you too are capable of great athletic feats worthy of the king of the jungle when you put your mind to it. Only, sometimes its there and sometimes it’s not.
For this reason, your inconsistency is often not because of any physical lack of ability but rather because your mindset is not in tune with what’s needed in that moment. If it’s all going as planned then you’re on fire; however, if something’s off and you’re not performing as well, you might as well say game over. And, oftentimes you find yourself more motivated by and in action because of what others (like your parents, coaches, and/or team) think or want.
You truly are a lion: When you roar, everyone takes notice (and many scurry out of the way) and at times you’re as docile as a sleeping cat. Not to worry, you can cool down your performance and get out of your slumber on command with a little concentrated Mental Toughness Training.
Mental Toughness Training for the Mental Toughness Lion:
- Mentally Tough athletes are shown to have “an insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed”17:00:54
- Why are internalized motives so powerful? Research has shown that intrinsic (internalized) motivation is predictive of persistence (3); in other words, you are more likely to keep going despite the odds if your motives are internalized.
- Keeping your focus on the past (what just happened) or the future (what if that happens again?) really divides your attention and assures that you will not have the optimal focus required to perform right now, in the present moment (the only place where performance happens).
- Ask yourself, ‘What’s the best that can happen?’ or ‘What’s the Opportunity here?’ These questions automatically shift your focus from negative to positive thoughts, powerfully ‘reframing’ your perspective regarding your upcoming performance.
- With this ‘reframed’ perspective, notice how you now feel.
- Then bring your focus back to the present, keeping this new perspective and positive feeling. Your future results can only come from the present moment, so you need maximal focus in the present to perform at your peak. Performance only happens in the present.
- For distractions that most often bother you, or are most impacting you right now, create your ‘Distraction Diversion’ or your plan do divert your distraction.
- For example, I had a snowboard athlete who was falling every second run after being in the lead after her first run. She created her distraction list and discovered that she was most distracted by the leader board. So, her distraction diversion became: Don’t look at the leader board! It was a simple fix that actually had her stop falling, however she never would have know to do that had she not done this exercise.
- Once you have your distraction diversions, it’s up to you to monitor how you’re feeling while performing – at Mental Toughness Inc. we call your feelings (emotional and physical) your Mental Toughness Signal (MTS). When you’re having a sub-par performance, you’ll notice you start feeling emotionally low. The emotional feelings of anxiety, or frustration, or anger, or even resignation might creep in. Your body might start feeling physically tight or shaky. If you find you’re not performing as well, and starting to feel emotionally or physically off kilter, use this Mental Toughness Signal to cue the use of your distraction diversion.
- Like any other skill, the more you practice, the better you will get at diverting your distractions and being mentally tough no matter what the circumstance.
Why Mental Toughness?
Mental toughness is basically a “natural or developed psychological edge”(1) that helps you better deal with the demands, pressures and distractions of your sport. Now who wouldn’t want that, right? Especially when some researchers say that mental toughness is that extra characteristic that separates talented athletes from those who become superstars (2).
Mental toughness will help you:
- Stay relaxed in any environment
- Experience low anxiety levels
- Be competitive without stressing about winning or losing
- Believe in yourself, in your abilities, and in your ability to control your destiny
- Remain unshakeable even in the face of adversity
Call to Action
Whether you scored high or low on this quiz, or somewhere in between, it’s equally as important that you keep training your mental toughness. The competition is going to get harder and your competitors will get tougher, so it is imperative you train your mental along with your physical skills.
This assessment is a call to action. No matter where you’re at, the next level of your mental toughness training starts right NOW:
- Fully take on the coaching in this assessment or in the ‘Mental Toughness’ emails you will now receive.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get Mental Toughness Tips .
- Or send us an email with any questions you have.
- Consider taking this audio course we’ve designed for you: The Mental Toughness Training Program for Champion Athletes.
We are committed to your Mental Toughness, so use us as resource to achieve your peak potential right away!
Coach Andy…and the Mental Toughness Team
(1) Connaughton, D., Wadey, R., Hanton, S., & Jones, G. (2008). The development and maintenance of mental toughness: Perceptions of elite performers. Journal of Sports Sciences, 26 (1), 83-95.
(2) Crust, L. & Kayvon, A. (2010). Mental toughness and athletes’ use of psychological strategies. European Journal of Sport Science, 10(1), 43-51.
(3) Clough, P.J., Earle, K., & Sewell, D. (2002). Mental toughness: The concept and its measurement. In I. Cockerill (Ed.), Solutions in sport psychology. London: Thomson. pp. 32-43
(4) Pelletier, L.G., Fortier, M.S., Vallerand, R.J., & Briere, N. (2001). Associations among perceived autonomy support, forms of self-regulation, and persistence: A prospective study. Motivation and Emotion, 25(4), 279-306.