Mental Toughness

Developing Mental Toughness for Young Athletes

How many times have you heard that sports are all mental? We often think of great athletes as those that are physically gifted and skilled. Although this is true, these things usually come on top of their mental toughness. In the case of professional athletes, they have to be mentally tough just to make it to where they are. It’s not only the mental toughness within games that’s important, but it’s also the mental toughness that’s required to stick with a sport and continue training in the face of adversity. Like everyone else, great athletes go through phases of doubt or lack of motivation, but it’s how they respond to those phases that separates them from the rest. 


Mental toughness doesn’t always come naturally for everybody. It usually has to be built up over time with years of trials and tribulations that will help to strengthen you. Below are some of the ways that you can consciously try to improve your mental toughness and the way that you approach your sport and training. 


Always Maintain Your Confidence

The biggest way to improve your mental toughness is to not let bad performances or plays affect your confidence. Within a game, if you make a bad turnover then you have to quickly move on and focus on the next play. If you dwell on a bad play for too long then you will let it negatively affect how you play afterwards. This is the same after bad games. If you internalize the feelings you have after bad performances and let it define you then you will carry it into the next game and let it ruin your performance. The key to being mentally tough as an athlete is to never lose confidence in yourself. The best athletes never take failure personally and either think about it as an opportunity for growth or don’t think about it at all.


Taking Responsibility

Great athletes refuse to let negative plays and performances affect them while simultaneously taking responsibility for them. The best athletes don’t make excuses for why they couldn’t meet expectations or perform up to par. They don’t even use minor injuries or illnesses as an excuse, let alone some of the excuses that you might hear from many young athletes. Some will even go as far as to blame their coaches or teammates which not only is a terrible excuse, but it can cause division and strife within your team. One great starting point for developing mental toughness is to take responsibility and never make excuses.


Always Try to Improve

The same way great athletes don’t let failures bring them down, they also don’t let success get into their head. They realize that after a good game they have to have the same level of hunger and preparation as they would after a bad game. Great athletes always challenge themselves to improve. They humble themselves enough to take advice from others and work to correct flaws within their game. 


Consistent Work Ethic

One of the best ways to be mentally tough as an athlete is to work hard. If you put forth the work and effort in order to be great at a sport then it will give you the confidence to know that you belong. With great work ethic during training and practices, the actual games will come naturally. You will simply be replicating all of the things you do when training. This is why it is important to be consistent in your training and always treat practice as if it’s a real game. 


How TAC Sports Can Help

Our coaches at TAC Sports always work to improve the confidence and mental toughness of our athletes. Our 5 star development system helps kids to do just that. We want to teach kids good values and habits that they can carry forward. Register for our camps today by clicking the button below!

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