Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness
            Have you ever ended your workout a little earlier than you knew you should? Have you ever given up on a wind-sprint 10 yards before the finish line? Have you ever stressed out over a mid-term paper, or some big deadline at work? Chances are what you lacked was mental toughness. Mental toughness is defined by David Yukelson, Ph.D., of Pen State as the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to generally cope better than your opponents with the many demands (e.g., competition, training, lifestyle) that are placed on you as a performer (Jones et al, 2002) Mental toughness is hardly found outside the world of competitive sports, many people tend to think that there is no place for mental toughness off the court or field. This is simply not the case, there are many life situations that require mental toughness, ask any CEO of any company and they will tell you that they would not be able to do their job well without being mentally tough. Tackling that 15 page psychology paper that’s been in your assignment book for the past four weeks will not seem so daunting with a good amount of mental toughness.

            It is possible to train for mental toughness in the gym, and using unconventional methods, a great workout video I found on mental toughness is this one by Martin Roonie at Training for (This guy is insane!) 100 reps in 100 seconds - United States, Training for Warriors Video
            A great read on the subject is The New Toughness Training for Sports: Mental Emotional Physical Conditioning By James E. Loehr (you can find it here at amazon The New Toughness Training for Sports: Mental Emotional Physical Conditioning from One of the World's Premier Sports Psychologists)  This book is great because it gives you a systematical approach to mental toughness that you can do at anytime and anywhere

            A good quick read on the subjet would be this PDF from Pen State University.

           So the next time you think about quitting your workout early, or walking the last stage of your sprint, remember that mental toughness is key to achieving the goal that you have set, both in the gym and in everyday life.

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