When you think about what athletes have to do to be successful in their sports, you realize how important toughness is — you put your body through all kinds of challenges to succeed. But did you realize that mental toughness is every bit as important?
Mental toughness is talked about in athletics all the time, but many people have trouble defining it. It seems to be an almost abstract and intangible quality. Some people think an athlete either has it or doesn’t. And, if you’re lucky enough to be born with mental toughness, you’ll have greater success and a longer career in sports — you’ll win the praise of many people, most of all your coaches and teammates.
We’re here to tell you that mental toughness is something you can develop, just as you develop your athletic skills and talents. We start this chapter by explaining what mental toughness is and why it matters. Then we help you set a plan for improving your own mental toughness so you can use it to achieve all your goals. You can’t develop mental toughness if you don’t know what it is, so we start this section by defining it. Then we explain why you want to do everything you can to develop your own mental toughness as an athlete.