Everything You Need To Know About Mental Toughness

November 06, 2015

By: Anna Agoncillo
Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)
Have you ever wondered what makes elite athletes or great leaders excel from the rest? 

Is it because of their innate skills or their formative environments? Most likely, it is the combination of the two plus an ability called Mental Toughness.

Mental Toughness helps an athlete to positively persevere despite the difficult circumstances. And, it can help you too!


This Psychology term has been frequently used by Sport Psychologists, coaches, and business leaders. Despite of its popularity in Applied Sport Psychology, experts have yet to arrive at a singular description for it. 

Suggested Mental Toughness definitions from 1970s-1990s include:

a. an ability to persist,
b. an ability to overcome failures,
c. the possession of superior mental skills,
d. and an ability to cope with pressure, stress, and adversity.

The emergence of varied definitions led to confusion rather than clarity. Thankfully, an extensive study shed a light by adapting the elements of the past literature and by making it presently relevant. 

Mental Toughness according to Jones et al. (2002)...
"Mental toughness is having the developed or natural Psychological edge that enables you to generally cope better than your opponents with the many demands of being a performer (e.g., competition, training, or lifestyle) and to specifically be more consistent and better than your opponents by remaining determined, confident, in control, and focused under pressure." 

1. Your Significant Experiences Are Beneficial

Interestingly, Mental Toughness increases as you age and as you progress in your sport. Your significant life experiences may help you to positively develop not just in your sport but also in your life! 

2. You Don't Need Supernatural Powers To Possess It

Mental Toughness consists of a myriad of characteristics such as optimism, confidence, self-esteem, commitment, desire, determination, concentration, focus, motivation, willpower, and courage. 
Image Credits: pixabay.com (CC0 Public Domain)
No! You do not need supernatural powers or Jedi mind tricks to have these characteristics as these can be trained and improved in time.

3. Mental Toughness Starts With The Right Attitude 

A strong attitude filled with focus and self efficacy is the first step to developing Mental Toughness. After which, an athlete learns the Mental Toughness attributes needed for training and competition. 

4. Your Coaches Play An Important Part

The coaches and significant adults in the elite athletes' lives were found to play an important part in their Mental Toughness across all the stages of their development. 

Apply this concept to your life by benefiting from the premium services provided by SportPsych Consulting!

Whether you are an athlete, a student, or a working individual, you can join the "Mental Skills Training Programme"It uses the renowned Mental Skills Training Model consisting of the 5C's framework namely: Composure, Concentration, Confidence, Coping with Challenges, and Cohesion. 

Image Credits: sportpsychconsulting.com
To know more, listen to the free audio book of the Programme, available here.

Benefit from the previous posts: 5 Mental Strategies To Ace Your Exams Like A Champion5 FREE Mental Health Apps To Improve Your Life

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