Mental Performance for Athletes: Two Forms of Mental Toughness
I wrote a post a few weeks ago on mental toughness and how mental wellness is at the core of being able to have mental toughness in the moments when we need it. This post is a continuation of that topic. As I mentioned then, the term mental toughness is used a lot, and it gets a lot of press and what many athletes and individuals beyond athletics look for in developing their mental game. Mental toughness does exist and is important but there are two forms of it. One is loud and the other quiet. The loud forms of mental toughness get the press, while the quiet wins the trophies. A lot of people are so focused on the loud forms of mental toughness they lose sight of the quiet forms that need to also be address and taken care of.
So what would be considered loud versus quiet? Loud is what many see as grit in extreme moments, pushing through great challenges. This is what I mentioned in my last post as what most people see as mental toughness and is necessary but not something to strive for all the time, as we hopefully don't have a need to push through great challenges all the time. Quiet forms of mental toughness fall under reliability in normal moments, showing up even when it's easy to bail. This is similar to what I mentioned in my last post as those day to day mental wellness factors. We become hyper focused on pushing through great challenges that we fail to truly show up and be consistent with normal moments, that lay the foundation for pushing through the more challenging or critical moments.
How good are you at showing up every day and being consistent with yourself and the things you need to do to be the best version of yourself? This is where most people struggle, and then they wonder why they have difficulty with finding the "grit" to push through bigger challenges. Everyday we have choices to make, and those choices help us to practice the skills we need for those critical moments when they do happen. We don't know when those critical moments will happen, all we can do is fully show up each day, and do the things in those quiet moments that will help us be prepared for the critical moments. To have the self talk, focus, mindfulness and response needed in that moment.
Athletes don't become great from big moments, those reflect and are a culmination of all the smaller moments that athlete's have embraced and truly took advantage of.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified