Mental Toughness in Life and Sport

I attended a great talk last night on sports psychology by South African sports psychologist, Dr Jannie Botha. Jannie explained the concept of sports psychology and his role as a mental coach.

One of the many interesting points he mentioned was that of what makes mental toughness? Here is how to be mentally tough in life and sport.

Mental Toughness: The Basic Needs

Mental toughness is made up of not one component but a few.

The first component of mental toughness is your mental foundation. Looking at a what type of mental foundation you have ask yourself do live life in confidence or fear. So are you positive or negative reacting in living life or your sport.

To understand fear a great book I think most South Africans should read is Risk by Dan Gardner. Dan makes a very interesting read on why we live in fear about crime, finances etc… It made me think why I do what I do because of what I have been exposed to.

For confidence Dr Botha helped explain that we have three types of confidence. Of the three the most important is an inner confidence, which is different to arrogance.

This inner confidence is a positive psychology you have about yourself no matter if you win or lose something.

Inner confidence does not only apply to the sports field, but to life in general.

You have meet those people in your life who you think, wow, what a nice, easy-going, happy person. They are confident about their lives and what they do. They don’t come across as arrogant or full of themselves. This is inner confidence.

Inner Confidence Video

An example I think of inner confidence is Nick Vujicic of “No Arms, No Legs, No Worries” fame. You can watch Nick in action below showing how he maintains a positive attitude even with his physical disability and what he still achieves in his life.

I hope that if you play sport you can use positive psychology to make you perform to your best ability. If you need help then maybe a mental coach can help you further.
Surround yourself around positive speaking and acting people to help stay on the mental toughness track. These tips are not only for sports men and women but good to think about in our day to day lives.