If Your Mental Toughness Only Improved One Percent…

Fighting Mentality

The Clipper’s Mental Toughness

What could you accomplish in your sport if you increased your mental toughness by just 1%?

One percent may sound like a small percentage, but your performance would improve exponentially.

Imagine sinking that game winning basket… or sticking the landing after a solid beam routine… or just playing to your abilities instead of being defeated by fear, negativity and anxiety.

If you performed mentally tougher at critical moments in competition, how would you feel about yourself as an athlete?

Chances are, you would enjoy your sport more, get psyched about competing against tough opponents, seek out game-changing opportunities, and have greater self-confidence as an athlete.

Mental toughness is not some mystical power bestowed upon a few elite athletes. Mental toughness is an achievable skill available to every athlete if you are willing to work for it.

Giving up or tanking in a game is easy… giving more in a game is a matter of will and toughness.

The LA Clippers put on a mental toughness clinic when they defeated the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in the First Round of the 2015 playoffs.

You may think that winning the first round series is no huge accomplishment… seven other teams also advanced.

But it’s HOW the Clippers advanced that confirmed their mental toughness.

The Clippers won Game 6 to force a seventh game. In Game 7, the Clippers headed into half with a two point lead but not necessarily with momentum on their side. Clipper forward Blake Griffin shot 4 for 11 in the first half and guard Chris Paul suffered a potentially game-ending hamstring injury.

Griffin came back to score 13 points in the second half and Paul heroically returned to the game to score 25 points including a runner off the glass with one second remaining for the game-winner.

Paul described the mindset of the Clippers and how their team motto helped them hang on.

PAUL: “Down the stretch, our team has a thing we say that Doc [Rivers] says, ‘Don’t let go of the rope.’ Any time we could have let go of the rope… we could have just conceded [to the defending NBA champions] but we kept fighting and guys made plays in order to win.”

Clipper guard Jamal Crawford stated, “If you wrote a script, this is how the ending would be.”

The interesting thing is you do write your own script in the things you say to yourself.

If you fear making mistakes, missing important shots or losing, you are writing the script to end tragically.

If you have a positive mindset or that “fighting spirit” or mentally tough mentality, you put yourself in position to end that chapter heroically.

Tips to maintaining a fighting mentality until the game ends:

  • Tip #1: Write your script – Decide ahead of time how you will react in adverse situations. See yourself responding positively at critical moments in competitions.
  • Tip #2: Don’t let go of the rope – Choose a motto that will guide your behavior during adverse times. Repeat it to yourself as you meet your challenging situations with unwavering resolve.

Successful athletes have learned to stop performance anxiety and play with ultimate composure. We’ve created The Composed Athlete, Workbook Program to help you do this.

Related Sports Psychology Articles

*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on iTunes
*Subscribe to The Sports Psychology Podcast on Spotify

Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!

Learn more about our one-on-one mental game coaching.

The Confident Athlete

The Confident Athlete Audio

“The Confident Athlete” consists of 2 audio programs that include 14 days of confidence fueling exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal needs.

Let me help you put a stop to the confidence leak. You can learn to have greater levels of confidence in competition than you do in practice by identifying the specific ways you undermine your own confidence and how to convert your practice confidence into COMPETITIVE CONFIDENCE.

“The Confident Athlete” is a ground-breaking system to teach you how to think like a champion and have ultimate self-confidence every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course. The confident athletes was developed for any athlete – junior to professional –that wants to gain confidence. However, coaches and sports parents can learn how to teach others to perform with ultimate confidence. Use my program if you want to bust a slump or just wanting higher or more consistent levels of self-confidence.

Leave a Comment