Mental Training Vs. Mental Toughness

By Dr Steve @SportsShrink,

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.
–Muhammad Ali

Mental Training is the most important training…

Every aspect of sports is mental, including the conditioning, practicing, pre-competition, competition, and post-competition.

1. Whether you know it or not, you are engaged in mental training 24hours a day. In some form or fashion your mind is always being programmed.
2. If you think (positive or negative) you are mentally training. That is, you are conditioning your mind for the best or worst.
3. You can mentally train at any time, no matter if you are injured or sick.
4. If you set goals, then you are mentally training.
5. If you visualize, imagine or “see” in your mind yourself performing, you are mentally training.
6. If you pay attention and concentrate during practice and during the competition, you are mentally training.
7. If you have certain things (rituals and routines) you do at home, before practice, in the gym, before and during competitions, you are mentally training.
8. If you breathe, you are mentally training.

All these activities mentioned above are skills and all skills can be improved.
The problem is that most people are not self-aware and do not realize what they are doing most of the time. Those unaware are frequently mentally training ineffectively or inappropriately and conditioning their mind in a nonproductive or negative manner forming bad habits and or mental weakness.

Most people including athletes are NON-mindful

The Best are Mindful

True Mental Training involves…

1. Becoming Self-Aware ~ aka STOP being in DENIAL and realize that you are mentally training your mind all day and night (while you sleep) for better or for worse.
2. Start improving these mental skills by addressing mental training to enhance your performance.
3. Master these skills and become more successful in your life.
Mental Training is not the same as Mental Toughness!

1. You can be a Zen master but NOT mentally tough. You can meditate all day long, and this does not mean you will fight your heart out, eat punches, get knocked down and get back up over and over.

2. You can be mentally tough and have mental weakness like poor concentration, easily distracted, lacking goals, poor visualization abilities, etc.

The best are both Mentally Trained and Mentally Tough

You can learn to master Mental Training skills…
1. Thought process
2. Goal Setting
3. Imagery and Visualization
4. Attention and Concentration
5. Ritual and Routines
6. Breathwork

So get to work and improve your mental strength right now!

Dr Steve @SportsShrink,