When two athletes have prepared for competition in the proper manner, trained equally as hard, and possess the same athletic ability; what separates the winner from the other guy? In athletics a term which is often thrown around is “mental toughness”. Although many people refer to someone or other as being mentally tough, few complete understand what it means to be mentally strong or how an individual becomes this way.
Mental Toughness: Having the natural or developed psycholgical edge. This entails:
- Being able to handle with greater ability the stresses placed on you as an athlete both physically and mentally better than your opponent.
- Remaining more resilient than your opponent while maintaining a higher level of focus, determination, confidence, and control throughout competition.
What makes an individual or athlete mentally tough is what is referred to by sports psychologists as the 4C’s: Concentration, Confidence, Control, and Commitment.
Concentration-Ones ability to remain focused to the task at hand.
Confidence-Ones belief in themselves and their abilities. (In team sports success can also be determined by ones belief in teammates or coaching philosophies.)
Control-Ones ability to maintain control over their emotions and free from distraction or outside influences.
Commitment-Ones continued effort towards a consistent goal.
In my next blog I will explain in further detail the 4C’s and how an individual can obtain these qualities.