Why Talent + Mental Toughness = Success

Mental Toughness

What Does it Take to Win?

Most athletes and spectators assume the most talented team or athletes should always win.

Maybe they should, but that’s not always the case.

Even is your team is superior, results are not a foregone conclusion…

Often, the mentally tough team wins out.

I’m sure you played a superior opponent, but pulled off the upset. How did you accomplish this feat? Did you out think your opponent? Did you have the “I-have-nothing-to-lose” mindset? Did you out-prepare your opponent?

There are a number of reasons why the more talented team loses. Sometimes talented teams rely on their talent to pull out victories…

These teams may underestimate their opponents… They may not prepare for a tough battle… They may have a false sense of security because they see themselves as better…

They may only play hard at the end of a game when the score is closer than they thought it would be.

Winning requires a combination of talent, desire, and mental toughness.

What are the components of mental toughness?

  • The will to prepare – Winning starts with full mental, physical and tactical preparation. Preparation is your battle plan. How do you need to prepare to ensure victory?
  • Relentlessness – Winning requires that you push forward no matter what challenges you face.
  • High effort or intensity – Success is always a matter of effort. Winners seek to outwork the opponents and dictate the flow of the game for the entire game.
  • Focus on constant improvement – Winners do not buy into the attitude that “good is good enough.” Winners seek to continually develop and achieve their true potential.
  • Motivation – Winners are driven to achieve a mutually agreed upon objective.All behavior in practice, training and games is directed towards achieving this goal.
  • Habit – A winning mindset needs to be consistent. Winning requires that you put everything on the line every day.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Not tough enough?

The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals four games to two.

The Warriors picked up where they left off last year winning their first 20 games while the Cavaliers have a 13-7 record to start their 2015-16 season.

Team leader Lebron James has called out his team saying they are just not mentally tough enough.

JAMES: “It’s not always about being Iron Man [physical toughness]. It’s a mental toughness as well — going out and doing your job, doing it at a high level and preparing that way before the tip even happens. So we got some guys who’ll do it and some guys that don’t do it consistently enough.”

James wants his teammates to, not just rely on the talent, but use their talent to work harder, prepare thoroughly and battle each second of every game.

JAMES: “We don’t pay attention to details as much. We don’t go out and battle when we’re supposed to. And it’s going to come to a point where every game, you’re going to be in a late-game situation or a game where you should’ve won by 10 instead of being a one- or two-possession game going down the stretch.”

Talent and Mental Toughness Equals Success

You have talent or you wouldn’t have achieved the level of success you have attained in your sport.

Sometimes talent can sabotage motivation because you think you just have to show up and you’ll win. Identify your assets. How can you push yourself every day and pay attention to the details what will help you reach peak performance?

Train or practice with a blue collar mentality where you use training opportunities to improve your skills and gain the mental edge.

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