The athletes identified 12 key attributes as key to mental toughness in sport, ranked in order of importance:
- Unshakeable self-belief in your ability to achieve competition goals(“Mental toughness is about your self belief and not being shaken from your path. . . . It is producing the goods and having the self belief in your head to produce the goods”).
- Ability to bounce back from performance set-backs as a result of an increased determination to succeed (“Yea, we all have them (setbacks), the mentally tough performer doesn’t let them affect him, he uses them”).
- Unshakeable self-belief that you possess unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponents (“I am better than everyone else by a long way because I have something that sets me apart from other performers”).
- Insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed (“You’ve really got to want it, but you’ve also got to want to do it for yourself. Once you start doing it for anyone else . . . you’re in trouble. You’ve also got to really understand why you’re in it . . . and constantly reminding yourself is vital”).
- Remaining fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions (“There are inevitable distractions and you just have to be able to focus on what you need to focus on”).
- Regaining psychological control following unexpected, uncontrollable events (comeptition-specific) (“It’s definitely about not getting unsettled by things you didn’t expect or can’t control. You’ve got to be able to switch back into control mode”).
- Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain, while still maintaining technique and effort under distress during training and competition (“In my sport you have to deal with the physical pain from fatigue, dehydration, and tiredness . . . you are depleting your body of so many different things. It is a question of pushing yourself . . . it’s mind over matter, just trying to hold your technique and perform while under this distress and go beyond your limits”).
- Accepting that competition anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it. (“I accept that I’m going to get nervous, particularly when the pressure’s on, but keeping the lid on it and being in control is crucial”)………….
More here – Scientific American