Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to emphasize mental toughness

Mental toughness is described in Wikipedia as
"having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to: generally, cope better than your opponents with the many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that sport places on a performer; specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure." (Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton, 2002, p. 209)
"Peter Clough et al. (2002) [4] proposed a model of mental toughness, conceptualizing it more like a personality trait. Their model has four components: confidence; challenge; control and commitment. In initially conceptualizing mental toughness and developing the MTQ48[5] questionnaire measurement tool, the approach taken by Clough et al. (2002) was to combine existing psychological theory and applied sport psychology."

You can read about lots of implemented scenarios here. Heart rate variability (HRV) was taken as a measure of physiological response, with lower levels of HRV indicating higher levels of stress response.

This sample list from AQR International will show you what to look for in each of the four components. Example "challenges" includes affirmations, heroes and heroines, thermometer, and a "not-do-do list". Surprised by the inclusion of a "not-to-do list" when we are so used to a "to-do list" ? You can order a MTQ48 assessment for £45.00

Controlled breathing exercises matter (NY Times)

"Daniel Gucciardi, Sandy Gordon, and James Dimmock of Australia have proposed a different definition and framework of mental toughness, based primarily on their work with Australian footballers. Using personal construct psychology, these authors proposed the following definition of mental toughness: a "collection of values, attitudes, behaviors, and emotions that enable you to persevere and overcome any obstacle, adversity, or pressure experienced, but also to maintain concentration and motivation when things are going well to consistently achieve your goals."

— Gucciardi, Gordon, & Dimmock, 2008, p. 278, [7]

The single most important lesson learned from 83,000 brain scans is that
"you can literally change people's brains. You are not stuck with the brain you have." (Dr. Damiel Amen)

Based on pioneering research and results with elite performers including world-class athletes, military, surgeons and Fortune 500 CEOs over thirty years, the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute has developed a free energy profile that can help you obtain a snapshot of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual energy. Access it here

Mental toughness is another muscle that can be trained. Advocating the practice of nothing...when health and survival are of concern..."Tone" your character. Make the hard decisions. Do not be a slave to your feelings. How good are you at accepting failure ? (asks Dr. Sean Richardson)...Fail going 100%.


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