Using Adversity to Improve Mental Toughness
So much has been written about mental toughness…
The need for athletes to be mentally tough and how it can help an athlete win the big game…
How mental toughness can help an athlete overcome adversity… How mental toughness can get an athlete to the next level in their career.
As an athlete, you have probably heard countless stories of mentally tough athletes and how that toughness led to success.
Unfortunately hearing is not doing…
Have any of those stories spurred you to do something to increase your level of mental toughness?
If your answer is, “No,” then why?
If you know mental toughness will help you be a better athlete, enjoy competing more and facilitate success, why are you not actively working on being mentally tough?
You may think you don’t have what it takes to be mentally tough… Or that only elite athletes are mentally tough… Or maybe you think the adversity you face is insurmountable?
All three of these statements are falsehoods.
Mental toughness is not merely a trait you are born with… It is a skill that you work towards.
With more mental toughness, the adversity you face shrinks in intensity.
For example, Olli Maatta is a defenseman who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Maatta, who was drafted 22nd overall in 2012, has faced much adversity including:
- two shoulder surgeries
- a broken hand
- a concussion and a neck/shoulder injury
Maatta has been on a journey to reviving his career and regaining the elite form from his rookie season. Maatta has rehabbed and conditioned his body but feels the biggest step to his improved confidence and play on the ice has been his dedication to his mental game.
MAATTA: “Most of the game is in your head. When you’re confident and actually enjoying it, you’re playing better than when you’re overthinking things. You’re not hesitating. There’s only so much you can get better at in two and a half months physically. How much you can change in one day mentally is crazy, I think.”
Tough times can create tough players.
The mental toughness Maatta has gained from facing his adversity has greatly contributed to his great start to the season.
In 16 games, Maatta has two goals and seven assists including a six-game point streak.
MAATTA: “[Being injured] Those were tough times mentally when you’re out, you’re watching games, especially the ones when you’re not working out or skating; you’re doing nothing.”
But, in reality, Maatta was doing something. Maatta was building his mental toughness and preparing for a strong comeback.
You can do the same… You can build your mental toughness and raise your game too.
A Mental Toughness Tip:
Write down times when you faced adversity (being behind in a competition, hard training sessions, injury, being benched).
Next, how did you respond? What did you think? What did you do?
If faced with the same situation in the future, how could you respond in a more positive, composed, or mentally tough way?
One way to improve mental toughness is to anticipate situations that might challenge you mentally. But you also want to think about how you can respond with confidence, focus, and composure to each situations.
That way you will be mentally prepared to cope with each of these situations. And check out how to improve composure in sports:
Learn Mental Game Strategies to Improve Composure in Sports!
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Powerful strategies for learning a composed mindset can be developed, but you must first strip away the mental ball and chains that prevent you from having instant composure when you need it.
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The Composed Athlete CD and workbook program consists of 2 audio CD’s that include 14 days of composure boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal crunch-time challenges and coping with pressure.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
Maximize your composure today!
What are mental game customers saying about our confidence boosting program?
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent
“A big thanks to you Dr. Cohn! I just can’t get over how much of a wonderful resource you are Patrick for the mental game of motocross! Never in the history of sports have I had such an upper hand with your mental strategies!
~Nicky Labrecque, Motocross racer
“Thank you so much for taking the time to work with our team while we were down in Florida. The tips you gave about relaxation and releasing tension before we bat or do anything was very beneficial to me. I find that I even use it during my classes at school.
~Ann Miller, Softball player
“After your session with Tyler, he is hitting Awesome! He got his first out-of-the-park home run and is scoring lots of doubles. He has a totally new attitude thanks to you!”
–Debbie Hartman, Tyler’s Mother
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental coaching students saying?
“Peaksports.com web site is so exciting. I researched them all and without a doubt your mental training site is the best! The vast amount of programs you provide helps athletes and coaches achieve higher levels of excellence in sports.”
~Doug Bolander, Hockey Coach
“I coach 2002’s at a AA level. I’m convinced that half of them are held back more by their minds than their bodies, maybe more than half. I like your 10 costly mistakes players make. The language is targeted at older kids, but the ideas are simple enough to convey to younger players. I’ll be using some of this for our game this afternoon!”
~Steve Taylor, Hockey Coach
“The resources that you have available on your website have been wonderful. A sound mental game may be more important then the actual physical part of the sport. Yes you have to have the talent, but the mental game is what sets apart a very good athlete compared to an elite athlete. Thanks again.”
“Great stuff on the hockey psychology report! Thank you very much for sharing. We are going to go through the report tonight at practice. Keep up the awesome work.”
~Sean Woodhouse (Coach Woody)