First of all, let’s define what is mental toughness.
Mental toughness is when your mind can stay confident, no matter what challenges lie before you. It’s when you push through perceived mental and physical barriers. Do you feel exhausted? Push through it, and you will discover it was an illusion created by your mind.
When you have mental toughness, you won’t get swayed by your emotions. You’ll stay centered and grounded. What’s more, is that you will stay hyper-focused on what you need to accomplish. Any distractions fall into your peripheral.
“Sport is 70% percent mental” is a quote we all heard at least once. But how strong is your mind? Will you accept defeat at the slightest challenge, or will you push through until you succeed? When you are in high-pressure situations that require perseverance to succeed, you need to have a strong mind. This edge can be developed through sports, competitions, and martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Most athletes train mostly physical and when they arrive at the competition, they feel different. the act is still the same, but the environment changes. Competition is tiring. There’s no secret about it. You give 200% from yourself just so you can get your arm raised at the end of the match.
one of the most common fears of an athlete is the “fear of fatigue” and it can be fatal.
An athlete’s job first and foremost is to be in shape and to believe in his training and his “never give up, never quit “ mindset. When you know you gave 100 %in your training and conditioning workouts you know you are physically prepared to deal with fatigue whenever it will come.
There are a few helpful techniques and exercises you can practice that will help you develop this, which can benefit you both in sports and competitions, as well as your everyday life.
How can you prove to yourself that you can go all out? Without running out of gas?
doing extra reps while drilling, extra live sparring, or post-workout sprints/ fast pace drills.
But the key element is while doing extra work – you must think of your fear of fatigue, see yourself pushing and bursting through this fear. The goal is to prove to yourself on regular bases that you are comfortable with this uncomfortable feeling.
when your workout is done, ask a friend to drill 5-10 minutes after class.
try this workout finisher:
30 sec on 15 sec off X 2-5 times
a simple example for 15 minutes finisher to do with a partner post-training session.
remember -think of how you push through the fear of fatigue.
Here’s a technique you can try out:
· Sit down and close your eyes.
· Visualize high-pressure situations you may encounter during a game or competition.
· Respond in various ways, for 5-10 minutes. See how you cope in situations. Feel into how it would be if you were really in that situation. Identify how you would respond.
· Repeat this every day.
When you practice this technique, you are rehearsing for what will be the ideal response for a given situation you could encounter. When you see yourself in your mind’s eye how you would cope, you can maintain greater mental toughness in the situation and not be thrown off and conquered.
The goal is to develop such a strong mind that you will feel comfortable in any situation that may arise through sports and competitions.
Now that you have a sure-fire way of improving your mental toughness, you can move onto other ways that will prepare you mentally for any encounter you may have.
Here is what you can do:
One way to achieve major mental toughness is to do one thing every day that will push you out of your comfort zone. This will entrain your mind to avoid freezing up when faced with something uncomfortable. Instead, you will be more fluid and dynamic in how you respond.
Challenge yourself. With greater risk comes greater reward. Push yourself beyond the discomfort, and you will conquer any situation. You will become victorious no matter what.
If you are still doubting yourself after these exercises, there’s another mindset shift you can try out to become mentally tough is to stay exceptionally positive. This is a huge shift because you will realize once you do this is that being positive was a choice all along. You could program a belief in your mind that you cannot overcome a challenge you face, or you can tell yourself that you can overcome and accomplish anything.
Mentally tough athletes can stay positive through both the easy and challenging times. Never underestimate the power of your mind…it may surprise you to see what you are capable of with a strong will.
Sports and competitions are excellent sandboxes for developing mental toughness. When you practice the exercises and techniques described earlier, along with the mind shift practices also mentioned, you will develop a rock-solid mind that will be centered, balanced, and able to overcome all perceived limitations.
Remember, the only limit is what you believe is a limitation, nothing else. Refuse to give up. Even if you have a loss in sports or competition, the important thing is to look at it as a lesson you can use to become better. Develop a strong mind, and you can accomplish anything.