It's been called the holy grail of an athlete’s mindset….mental toughness.
This attribute is known to cause serious headaches among the sports performance coaching world! Why? Because time and again we all have worked with athletes who have better than average physical talent but because they lack mental toughness, they rarely amount to much in the athletic arena.
So what’s our natural tendency when this occurs during training? We get L-N-BA.
In other words, we tend to get loud, negative, and have a bad attitude in hopes that this form of communication and behavior will jump start a fire under our athletes. But does this really work?
For a few athletes it may simply because of the fear factor. But even then it is often short-lived.
Instead of ‘mental toughness’, we should just call it ‘toughness’ training. After all, that’s exactly what it is right?
It’s about developing a ‘do not quit’ attitude in any given moment and is most often developed via strongman type training, the now popular cross-fit workouts, obstacle challenges, and a variety of other ‘survival’ training methods.
However…in order to develop ‘mental toughness’, the second word in this phrase is only half of the equation!
We’ve got the ‘tough’ part down but often forget about the mental piece.
In part two I will discuss just what this ‘mental’ part means and how coaches can have a much greater impact in developing this attribute by taking one simple step!