Mental Toughness Training • Mental Game • Inner Game for Athletes • Sports Mind


Every Sport Demands Mental Toughness to Optimize Peak Performance

vince lombardi quote

Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action’. Source: Vince Lombardi

Brainspotting for Mental Toughness

Brainspotting is a methodology that can be used in mental toughness for sports. It is very effective for helping athletes recover from sports traumas and injuries. Brainspotting works by identifying and releasing the core sources of emotions, physical pain, dissociation and trauma.

Neuro-Linguistic Psychology (NLP) for Mental Toughness

NLP has been proven to be extremely effective for athletes who want to enhance their mental toughness. The premise of NLP is that individuals unknowingly create a “map of reality” and react to this paradigm as though it were real. This includes their beliefs, mindset, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. If an athlete is unaligned in these factors, then the individual’s performance will be under-optimized.

Guided Imagery Mental Toughness

Guided imagery is the process of conscious visualization. The primary focus of guided imagery within sports within the context of mental toughness for athletes this for athletes to rehearse and mentally practice the perfect execution of plays, competition, practicing and other elements of one’s specific sport.

Hypnosis for Mental Toughness

Hypnosis is an ancient and very powerful methodology used to help people experience relaxation, reduce stress, recover from nonbeneficial events and experiences, and to create an overall sensation of well-being. Hypnosis can be used to change unconscious reactions into conscious, intentional responses so that an athlete can experience an altered State of mind – a flow state of peak performance – while competing.

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More About Mental Toughness and Inner Game

What is Mental Toughness? It is an experience of internal strength that allows an individual to face fear with courage. Mental toughness includes a degree of self-confidence which is one’s ability to manage risk and handle challenges, and it is the ability to manage one’s internal state by maintaining a positive focus during adversity and competition.

Mental toughness has been referred to as willpower, guts, balls, resolve and many other terms. There isn’t a single location where mental toughness occurs but it is best known within the athletic arena. There are various accounts differing in whether or not mental toughness can actually be trained or if it is an innate quality that certain individuals are born with. Most people can improve their tolerance, can enhance their strength and conditioning, become more educated, train their minds, and condition themselves to emotionally push beyond previously perceived barriers.

Quitting is a decision that occurs all the time on the field, in the game, on the job or in life in general. Quitting occurs when we perceive the cost of achievement as being greater than the reward. In the documentary pumping iron with Arnold Schwarzenegger common he alluded to mental toughness as the desire to keep going on and on and saying that you just don’t care what happens. Ultimately mental toughness is connected to motivation and motivation is connected to an individual’s beliefs about what a specific experience means in general and what it means to their identity. When people set goals for themselves these goals create a sense of pressure internally and once individuals begin to achieve their goals they experience what has been referred to as achievement motivation. Meaning, the more goals they successfully complete the more expansive this individual’s sense of motivation becomes. This is why it is important in many cases to set small achievable goals in order to build up a growing sense of motivation that can be applied to long term or big picture outcomes.

The human body is designed for adaptation and survival and individuals can become used to just about any Element in their environments if they’re given the proper amount of time and exposure necessary to develop resilience. When an individual can achieve certain small goals or objectives this makes it much easier for them to become tougher in life, in their environments, within a specific sport or even just mentally and emotionally. Mental toughness isn’t just about athletic performance, managing pain tolerance and having a victory mindset. Many people who could care less about winning, do not experience forms of physical pain, and are not athletes still do things that demand high levels of mental toughness. Consider an individual who does a 10 day silent meditation… many people would prefer almost anything in the world over such an experience because of the mental rigors it requires and the ability to silence one’s mind. They’re also historical anecdotal stories about individuals who have gone through great emotional and mental duress in scenarios that required extreme levels of toughness. What I believe mental toughness has to do with is the individual’s ability to manage anxiety about the future. When an athlete begins pushing is her her perceived limits, The mind – or the ego – begins to push back causing us to think about what might happen if we continue down this road. What causes many athletes to lose, give up, or quit isn’t necessarily the pain in the moment but more so the internal dialogue or self talk for hypothetical mental movies and scenarios about what might happen if they continue at a specific level of exertion.

What needs to be pointed out is that there is a distinction between pain and the onset of an injury. And injury prevents An athlete from going further. pain, fatigue and exhaustion fools an athlete into giving up. There are other factors involved also. For example, an experienced athlete who has been training for years and is in prime condition can push his or her body further than an individual who is out of shape. One the important thing to point out is that many people who have no background in the performance or exercise start a new routine or regimen find themselves being injured with preventable injuries such as rhabdomyolysis because they push too hard too early and do not have the body wisdom to differentiate between pushing the limits and completely bypassing their limits.

For the beginning athlete, an important aspect of inner game might have to do with just discovering cultivating the motivation to get out of bed and exercise in the morning. Or, define the determination and willpower to work out after a busy and long day at work. There’re various factors like illness, injury, distractions, responsibilities all that Play a role in ones ability to stay focused on long-term goals and objectives. In many ways, mental toughness is about having the discipline to stay the course and follow through until a specific objective has been reached.

What are the components of mental toughness from a sports psychology perspective? Consider the following and how they apply to your performance as an athlete:

1. Flexibility. Do you have the ability to adapt to the unexpected and turn a limiting situation into a positive outcome?

2. Responsiveness. Are you capable of staying engaged in a high pressure situation and following through until your specific goals has? achieved?

3. Strength. Are you able to exert force under pressure and keep going even when it seems as though victory is not a possibility?

4. Courage. Are you willing to give up the elements in your life that detract from your competitive edge?

5. Resiliency. Are you capable and willing to learn from mistakes, injuries, failures, missed opportunities, and disappointments and continue working towards your goals?

6. Sportsmanship. Can you keep it positive focus and re-frame negative situations into learning experiences?

Mental toughness is about cultivating the clarity and purpose necessary to achieve your goals while removing the mental and emotional barriers that have been preventing you from taking the action necessary to be a successful athlete. I can train you using the best and most effective techniques in mental toughness and we can set achievable goals that you can build upon to create a strong foundation for your success as an athlete.