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1. They find a way, not an excuse – Mentally tough athletes make no excuses when things don’t go their way. Instead of playing the blame game, they take responsibility for their performance, go back to the drawing board and try again.

2. They Adapt – Instead of doing things the same way they always have, mentally tough athletes find new ways of challenging and pushing themselves to their outer limits of potential. Mentally tough athletes understand that the work they did yesterday brought them to where they are today. These athletes also know that more is required today to get them to where they want to be tomorrow.

3. They expend their energy on things that benefit performance – Mentally tough athletes focus on the things they can control. Mentally tough athletes don’t dwell on the past or feel sorry for themselves, nor do they concern themselves with distractions outside of their direct control. Mentally tough athletes focus on what they can do in the present moment to overcome the challenges of performance and give them the best opportunity to succeed.

4. They see the past as valuable informative lessons and nothing more – Mentally tough athletes learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others, but then let go of the past and move forward. Mentally tough athletes see the past as mental training for better performance in the future. Mistakes, errors and losses don’t define mentally tough athletes, these experiences strengthen their resolve.

5. They take risks – Mentally tough athletes understand that the fear of failure prevents fully committing to and achieving excellence in their sport. Mentally tough athletes seek out opportunities to move out of their comfort zone. They meet challenges with enthusiasm instead of dread and anxiety. Mentally tough athletes refuse to be average and understand that they may miss the mark on occasions, but it is wort

h taking the chance in order to achieve great things.

6. They remain persistent despite of failure –Mentally tough athletes are never defeated by failure. They understand that failure is simply another step on their journey towards success. Mentally tough athletes have the mindset that failure is not final and that they must never quit pursuing their objectives.

7. They pursue excellence, not perfection –

Mentally tough athletes set goals, but their focus is on the steps they need to take to achieve that goal. They understand that optimal performance is a marathon, not a sprint, and that each step along the way moves them closer toward their goal. Mentally tough athletes are not embarrassed by mistakes, do not try to be perfect, they push themselves to their limit and they seek daily improvement. Mentally tough athletes understand they will make mistakes along the way and these mistakes are both necessary and critical turning points in their journey towards excellence.

8. They concern themselves with their talents and abilities – Mentally tough athletes don’t try to please others, nor do they resent the success of other athletes. They focus on themselves, their talents, personal improvement, implementing their game plan, and achieving the goals they set for themselves.

Talent can be over-rated. You can find thousands of talented athletes who never achieve greatness in their sport. As a matter of fact, 75% off all teen athletes drop out of sports–not because of a lack of talent–but because they lose the fun in sports and lack the mental toughness to compete at higher levels.

Talent without mental toughness training leads to average athletes when it comes to consistent performance, but average talent with mental toughness makes good athletes who accomplishes great things.

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.”
~Bill Russell

Article written by Patrick Cohn