You scored (out of 20):
Elite Mental Toughness – The Tiger:
You are a tiger when it comes to your mental toughness: You see what you want and you go for it. Yes, at times you feel the pressure to perform; however, you trust your body, trust your abilities, and trust your instinct. You are willing to do whatever it takes to be your best, including asking for coaching when you want to elevate your performance.
Just like a tiger stalking its prey, you have a tendency to become single-mindedly focused, to the point where your performance starts to suffer. This inability to focus in on the full picture at all times is where your mental toughness begins to weaken, and your whole ‘game’ can suffer as a result. When things are going well, it’s easy for you to leave your distractions and adversities at the door; however, when you’re not having your best performance, it can be come increasingly easy for you to lose focus and/or to try to focus-in too much.
It’s important that you keep your peripheral in view and, at the same time, be able to focus-in without distraction. This wide-angle view will allow you to have the full picture so that you can react to all demands of your competition. You don’t need to fake being positive and pretend that everything is ok, or worry about the butterflies in your tummy (these butterflies are your friends after all, notice how they’re always there to support you when you really want to win!). You simply need to focus in on the task at hand, deal quickly with any distractions, and trust yourself to perform like you can.
Mental Toughness Training for the Mental Toughness Tiger
- One sign of a truly mentally tough athlete is that you are able to perform and focus in on what you have to do in the present moment despite adversity or distractions (3). And you don’t have to have tunnel vision in order to do so!!!
- So, although you are doing well to divert your distractions when you are performing well, where you need work is staying focused when your performance isn’t going the way you want. First of all, I congratulate you for leaving your worries at the door when you’re performing well.
- And, if you want to bring your distraction control to the next level (and in case you haven’t noticed as an elite performer, there’s always the next level!), here’s what you can do:
- Before your upcoming performance, make a list of:
- Every distraction you can think of (sometimes just by listing it, it’s relevance melts away)
- All the areas of your performance that you want to focus on today (so that you focus on the big picture)
- 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’ weekly email you will now receive.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to get daily Mental Toughness Tips (@mentaltoughnessinc)
- Or send us an email with any questions you have.
- Consider taking our training program called 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!
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.