Increasing Mental Toughness
Persistence Despite Tough Times
What is your response when you hit a rough patch as an athlete? When you are not performing as expected, do you go through the motions during training sessions and competitions or do you find a way to achieve higher performance levels? When you are not competing at optimal levels, you have two choices, succumb or overcome. Many athletes succumb, or “mentally” give up when performing at subpar levels. The opposite of “giving up” is “mental toughness” and is the defining characteristic of Olympic champions.
Julia Mancuso, 29, is a US World Cup Alpine Skier known for her “mental toughness.” In fact, Mancuso’s teammates nicknamed her “Super Jules” for her fierce competitiveness on the slopes. Mancuso has won four Olympic medals: gold in the 2006 Giant Slalom, silver medals in the 2010 Combined and Downhill and, most recently, the bronze in the 2014 Combined event. Mancuso has won the most Olympic medals of any female American Alpine skier.
Mental toughness isn’t the absence of tough times; it’s persistence despite tough times. Mancuso had an inconsistent 2013 season that affected her confidence, “I let it get in my head and then I started making bad decisions. Every race, it was something different. I was always questioning. I was never confident. Skiing’s mental. It’s a mental game up there. A lot of us know how to ski. Every single girl in the start gate can ski well, especially in the top group. It’s about being mentally prepared and confident.”
Mancuso committed to overcome her performance issue by, first identifying the problem, “what really happened, in a nutshell, is I let a bad result make me question what I was doing.” Secondly, Mancuso took a break from the World Cup circuit and dedicated herself to regain her confidence and mentally tough form for the Sochi Olympic Games, “Being focused on the Olympics has enabled me to stay positive. I do think I perform well at the Olympics because they just really excite me.”
Mancuso takes pride in her mental toughness and her mental game, “At this point in my career, I believe (skiing) is 99 percent mental. I think the training and working on equipment has a lot to do with the mental aspect.” In fact, Mancuso incorporates mental toughness training with her physical training. During the off season while many skiers are resting, Mancuso engages in an unorthodox training regimen of weights, biking and underwater sprints, “It feels so good on your body. Getting into underwater training has helped a lot with mental training… you have to really know your limits and then believe you can push yourself to that limit.”
Mancuso’s mental toughness paid dividends in the Sochi Olympic Games. Mancuso regained her confidence and won the combined event. Commitment to overcoming adversity strengthens mental toughness.
How to Increase Mental Toughness:
- You want to learn how to stay focused on what you are doing now. Focusing on past performances will keep you stuck in a rut.
- You must commit to overcoming any adversity that comes your way.
- You need to create conditions in training that will push your limits.
You must understand that mental toughness training is similar to strength training. By overcoming incremental stress loads over time, mental toughness increases.
Sign Up For a Free Mental Toughness Report!
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you or your athlete(s), ages 12 and up, overcome 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 students saying?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian
For All Athletes – Learn Confidence-Boosting Techniques!
D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
No matter ow positive you try to be, are you unable to shake the doubt that rushes into your head when you size up your competition?
Have you labeled yourself as a loser, poor closer, or mediocre athlete and these labels keep you stuck in a rut of self-pity and indecision?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Confident Athlete!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for ultimate self-confidence. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover proven confidence-boosting techniques guaranteed to drastically build self-confidence and improve sports performance.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“I first purchased The Confident Athlete to see how the program went and immediately saw results. I then purchased the rest of the confident athlete series and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I currently play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game. My attitude and confidence at the plate.”
~Tylor Prudhomme (Listen to his success story)
“I am a ASP world qualifying professional surfer and after beginning the ‘The Confident Athlete’ I had an almost instant change in attitude about my own surfing ability and my mindset going into competition. By using the Confident Athlete strategies, my confidence has done a complete 180 degrees. I won a local pro/am a few weeks back, and just had my best result of the year in one the last big events on the world circuit this last week in Brazil! It is my secret weapon!”
~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
What are parents and coaches saying about our program?
“I appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
For Mental Coaches – Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
“I am impressed with the willingness and openness of Dr. Cohn to share all of his assets (intellectual, products, etc.) with the MGCP students. You have developed an incredible model/package for mental training. Even though we are paying for your service, you are passing on a legacy built on your contribution to the world of sports. Thank you for that.”
~Tony Melito, MGCP