Tag Archives: attitude

Characteristics of Mentally Tough Athletes

25 Feb

kevin-love[1]There are lots of different ways to describe and define mental toughness.  It can be described as the ability, willingness, and discipline to perform effectively and productively, regardless of the situation or circumstances.

Mental toughness involves positive thinking, focus, concentration, persistence, perseverance, and a strong belief in self.  It is the ability to ignore distractions, focus on what is important, and block out what is not.

Mental toughness is working through adversity, overcoming obstacles, and refusing to give up or give in.

And, although the focus of this blog post primarily relates to athletes, mental toughness does not apply only to athletes.  Since we all face obstacles and adversity, mental toughness can be an asset to students, business professionals, teachers, coaches, parents, and any other situation or life experience.

Here’s a list of 10 Characteristics of a Mentally Tough Player, excerpted from the article, Developing Mental Toughness:

  1. Doesn’t let one bad play lead into another. Short memory.
  2. Is able to take constructive criticism from a coach or teammate with the right attitude.
  3. Is still able to be a good leader even when they aren’t personally playing well.
  4. Is able to run offense and execute the correct play even when they are physically tired.
  5. Still shoots the basketball with great form and technique when they are physically fatigued.
  6. Doesn’t check out of a game that they are losing, and looks like there is no chance to win.
  7. Doesn’t complain about something being too difficult, but finds a way to get through it.
  8. Stays patient and is able to run offense even when being pressured by the defense.
  9. Stays in control of emotions and doesn’t let the size of the stage negatively effect them.
  10. Doesn’t put in the bare minimum during conditioning, but looks to try and win every sprint.

Thanks to my friend, Laurel Heilman of STUDENTathleteWorld, for sharing this information.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Tough Coach? No Problem!

13 Feb

Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Matta talks with guard Craft in the second half against the Wichita State Shockers during their West Regional NCAA men's basketball game in Los AngelesIt’s important to be a coachable athlete.  As a player you want to flourish under your coach, not flounder.

At some point, you may find yourself playing for a “tough” coach.  Adjectives like demanding, hard-to-please, challenging, and exacting may come to mind.  Hopefully, fair is also a word that describes the coach.

Perhaps you haven’t had much experience playing for this type of coach.  How will you make it work?

Much of the time, it’s a question of attitude.  Additionally, communication and collaboration are very important components in building and maintaining a positive, productive player-coach relationship.

Every player has something to offer, and it’s up to you and your coach to define and develop your role and perform it to the best of your ability.

Sure, it’s a challenge.  But, with a “can-do” attitude and by following a few tips, you might find that making it work is not as hard as you think.

Check Your Attitude

Listen to what your coach has to say, and respect his or her experience and expertise.  Be willing to try new approaches and strategies.  Don’t brood about (what you perceive as) your coach not valuing your contribution.  No one wants to play with an athlete who is dismissive of suggestions or assignments.

Be Positive

There’s a lot you can learn from your coach, if you are open and receptive to learning.  Ask questions and strive to continue learning.  Your willingness and enthusiasm to embrace new ways of doing things will be appreciated.  Recognize that both you and the coach are building a relationship that allows each of you to be successful on the court or field of play.  Absorb the energy and enthusiasm your coach brings to the team.

Build Relationships With Teammates

Connecting with teammates, both on and off the court, can help you foster your relationship with your coach.  Stay appropriately engaged with teammates on common social networks with positive posts.  Forward relevant articles to your coach with a note, letting him or her know that you found it helpful or useful.

Improve Communication

Chances are, you under-communicate with your coach.  Get comfortable approaching and talking with him or her.  And remember, it should be you talking with your coach and not your parent(s).  Topics like playing time and comparisons with teammates are — and should be — off-limits.  Focus, instead, on your own self-development as a player.  Ask questions like, “In what specific areas can I work to improve in order to better contribute to the success of our team.”  Most coaches will make more of an effort to help you once they know you are willing to help yourself.

Don’t Snipe

Avoid making negative comments about your coach to your teammates, friends, etc., and keep the negative stuff OFF social media.  All that will accomplish is to cast you in a negative light, make things awkward for those around you,  and adversely affect your team chemistry.  What happens at practice should stay at practice, unless it involves something that has the potential to hurt you or others.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Always Keep Swinging

3 Dec

44power[1]My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” – Hank Aaron

No one performs at the peak of his or her ability level, all the time.  You’re going to have good games and bad games.  And, sometimes, the bad games can seem to persist, and you may find yourself in somewhat of a slump (conversely, sometimes the good games will persist, too, and you’ll enjoy your “hot” streak).

The root of your slump may be mechanical, physical, psychological, or emotional.  In all likelihood, you may not even be aware of the cause of your slump, just the end (performance) result.

Attitude is everything.  More than anything else, your approach to improving your performance — when in a slump — will be most important in determining the outcome.

You may not hit the ball every time you swing the bat, but one thing is certain: you’ll never hit it if you don’t swing.  Same goes for shooting a basketball.  You’ve got to shoot if you want to score.

This same principle applies to school, work, and life.  “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” – Benjamin Franklin

Have a goal and be realistic.  Understand your strengths and areas for improvement.  Develop an action plan that is aligned with your goal, and take small steps toward your goal, every day.

Believe in yourself, don’t get discouraged, and don’t quit.  Seek help and inspiration from someone with experience and expertise in the area in which you want to improve.

Try and succeed… try and fail.  Try again.  Keep trying.  You’ll never win if you never try.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

The 4 “A”s of Success for Student-Athletes

3 Sep

student-athlete[1]First of all, thanks to Athlete Motivation for sharing this, on Twitter.  I’d like to take their tweet and expand on it.

We work with hundreds of athletes at our facility — from scholastic, collegiate, and professional levels.  By far, our highest concentration comes to us from the high school and college ranks.

To a one, the most successful student-athletes with whom we work live and breathe the “4 ‘A’s of Success.”  They are capable, responsible students who work hard — both on and off the court/field — to be the best athletes they can be.  They understand that their ultimate success in school and sports is actually developed away from the classroom and gym or field.  Their practice habits and willingness to prepare are “a cut above” the average student-athlete.

  1. Academics.  Hit the books and make your studies a priority.  I don’t care how talented an athlete you are, academics are the conduit to your future.
  2. Athletics.  Work to develop your sport-specific skills to the best of your ability.  Improve your strength, speed, agility, and overall athleticism.  Dedicate yourself to become a student of the game.  Commit yourself to contribute to the success of your team however you can.
  3. Attitude.  I could go on and on about the impact of positive thinking.  Believe in you.  Approach each day as a new opportunity to improve yourself and be successful.  Be happy and smile… a lot.
  4. Achievement.  There’s nothing better than a sense of accomplishment.  Goal setting and action planning are important components of the achievement process.  Ultimately, action is probably the most important element — you’ve got to work your plan.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Take Yourself Out of the Game

16 Dec

Stephen Curry, Nenad KrsticAs an athlete, consistency is important.  Consistency of effort, preparation, and practice leads to consistency of performance.  But, despite our best efforts, athletes at every level experience performance slumps.  There will be  some games when your shots are just not falling.  How will you deal with it?

There are some things that are under your control every time you take the court.  Attitude is one of them and, perhaps, the most important.  You decide if and how you let a missed shot or turnover affect your next possession, or the rest of your game.  Although it may be easier said then done, a positive mental approach (and, sometimes, a short memory) is critical to athletic performance success.

Effort is another area that shouldn’t be impacted by your level of play.  Keep hustling.  Continue to “play hard, play smart, and play together” (Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach).  Don’t allow a missed shot or bad pass to be an excuse to give anything less than 100% when you’re on the court.  Focus on the aspects of your play that aren’t susceptible to slumps, like defense, boxing out, and rebounding.

Don’t allow a performance slump to take away your aggressiveness, confidence, or energy.  You’ve worked hard to get to this point.  Keep believing in yourself and maintain a high intensity level.  Draw on positive past experience to fuel your thoughts.  Keep working hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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