It’s practice that takes work, but if … The only difference is the audience. If you set out to achieve a huge goal that you don’t have a “why” for, you’re going to find yourself distracted, discouraged, or disengaged as soon as you experience your first setback. The Strycharczyk and Clough definition of mental toughness, and the MTQ 4C’s framework that supports it, focuses on resilience and confidence and their related attributes that enable you to perform at your best, whatever the circumstances. A mentally tough athlete treats practice and pre-season competitions with the same intensity as league and post-season games. Here are a few of them in chronological order: Eenie meenie miney mo… Take your pick. They have highlighted that the attributes of a mentally tough athlete in one sport may differ greatly from the attributes of a mentally tough athlete in a different sport. Their “survive and thrive” definition of mental toughness as being RESILENCE, the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures and CONFIDENCE, the ability to spot and seize opportunities, is a sound and symmetrical definition which I use all the time. Having become a sort of default explanation for any victory in challenging situations, mental toughness has been criticized as “one of the most used but least understood terms in applied sport psychology” (Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2002). Not every strategy may help you, so take the Bruce Lee philosophy of learning on your search. A mentally tough athlete treats practice and pre-season competitions with the same intensity as league and post-season games. I define mental toughness as being "able to access their talent at the highest level they are capable on a consistent basis regardless of the situation." The following comes from a previous note found here I sent out a while back but thought it was worth sharing again. If you are willing to suspend your (well-placed) skepticism for a moment and disregard the unstable foundation upon which mental toughness research rests, we can explore the evidence for whether it (whatever “it” is) can be considered a useful construct for predicting differences in performance.  We will discuss the quantitative (statistical) and qualitative (descriptive) evidence separately.Â, In a 2017 review of 19 quantitative studies from 2007-2016 relating mental toughness to competitive standard, performance, and achievement, Richard Cowden found that the results collectively “support the commonly held belief that mentally tougher athletes tend to be more successful” as “88% of relevant studies found athletes with higher levels of mental toughness tend to achieve more or perform better.”Â, Qualitative studies have provided additional support for the role of mental toughness in performance, particularly during critical moments.  For example, choke-prone elite golfers identified low mental toughness as an important feature of their choking episodes  (Hill et al, 2010) and four applied sport psychologists with experience at the elite level agreed that mental toughness not only reduces susceptibility to choking, but also increases the odds of recovering optimal performance after a choke has occurred (Hill et al, 2009), Although these results suggest that perhaps there is a there there when it comes to mental toughness research, the whole enterprise has come under attack as a biased social construct that reeks of elitism and stereotypical masculinity.  Several studies have indeed found significant differences across gender and competitive status – with more accomplished male athletes tending to rate higher in mental toughness .  Some critics have gone as far as to argue that mental toughness is nothing more than a romanticized ideal that reinforces the pathologically macho culture of competitive sport (see Caddick & Ryall, 2012). Â. “Mentally tough” has become the go-to phrase to describe the successful athlete or performer. Routines help us to trust the process and not focus on the outcome. What Is This Thing Called Mental Toughness? The only difference is the audience. Piggybacking off of the already well-established concept of “hardiness” (with its 3 components of control, challenge, and commitment), Clough and colleagues added a 4th component of confidence, which they felt was essential to the notion of mental toughness. Contact Kathy A. Feinstein a certified Sports Performance Consultant in Naples, Florida. … Mental toughness is located between factors of the HEXACO model, but much more squarely aligned with ambition in the HPI." Mentally tough people do not externalize blame or credit. Mental toughness made its sports debut in the mid-1980s with the early work of Jim Loehr, who defined it rather loosely as “the ability to consistently perform towards the upper range of your talent and skill regardless of competitive circumstances.” Â. Sense of personal responsibility for life circumstances and regulation of emotions. It is clear, however, that several issues regarding conceptualization, measurement, utility, and diversity need to be addressed before mental toughness research can be said to rest on a firm scientific foundation. Mentally tough people do not shy away from the spotlight. My definition of mental toughness is the ability to remain calm, cool and collected no matter what the situation. The DNA of Mentally Tough People. However, overall, thinking prevents us from being in the moment and trusting our innate talent and highly practiced skills. How do you know how mentally tough you are? There is an old adage, “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” You can only control three things as an athlete - your effort, your attitude, and your preparation.