Mental Toughness is the ability to control one’s thoughts during competition.
More importantly, it is a way of thinking, a mental program, that delivers under the pressure of competition. It can help keep you focused, confident, determined, and courageous. However, being mentally tough does not come without a price.
It must be practiced daily just like your other sport skills.
You must practice/do your mental exercises daily to make them your “New Program.” Just like developing your physical skills, mental re-programming requires repetitious practice of mental thoughts and images. You want to become tough, start thinking and acting tough until it becomes real. Have images of toughness in your brain. See it. Believe in it.
In your mind, you must start generating thoughts and images of the following:
- Replace doubt with confidence. See it.
- Replace frustration with determination. See it.
- Replace fear with courage. See it.
- Replace anxiety with a game plan. See it, do it.
- Replace boredom with high goals. See them, go after them.
- Make sport fun. Relax and enjoy it.
Write about your feelings and thoughts in a journal. Think about the negatives and replace them with positives.
See yourself literally competing the way you want instead of avoiding what you don’t want. Talk about it with teammates, friends, coaches. Keep it in the front of your mind. Give it five to six weeks and it will start to become permanent.
The important thing is to start. Reprogram your mind by focusing on images of how you want to compete. Then just pretend until it becomes real. The brain doesn’t know the difference.
Eventually it will become real. Give it a chance. It really works. Do this daily. Do it often. It really makes a difference. A little cockiness is a good thing.
This is time-tested Golden advise by World Class Mental Skills Coach Dr. Gary Sailes. PhD