Tara's Blog

Interesting Study

In 2006, Creasy & Stratton conducted a study among 22 NCAA coaches. In Phase-One of the data collection, the 22 coaches completed a questionnaire for the purpose of ranking the most important components of mental toughness and to what degree they felt these components were teachable.

The questionnaire consisted of 20 components of mental toughness, 12 of which came from the 2002 Jones et al study.

The remaining eight were identified by Cal Ripken in a 2004 publication (Stratton). In Phase-Two, 10 of the 22 coaches were interviewed in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the Phase-One research results.

The data showed that the following components were fundamental to the definition of mental toughness:

1. Having an unshakable self-belief in the unique qualities and abilities that make you better than your opponents.

2. Strength: You have to be in good physical and mental condition. You must be psychologically and emotionally prepared.

3. Having an unshakable self-belief in your ability to achieve your competition goals.

4. Have conviction: You have to be a little bit stubborn.

5. Regaining psychological control following unexpected, uncontrollable events (competition specific).

6. Have a strong will to succeed: Don’t let setbacks stop you from achieving your goal.

7. Remaining fully focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions.

8. Be consistent: Recognize and adjust to change so that you are always able to make a contribution to your team.

9. Not being adversely affected by others’ good and bad performances.

10. Be competitive: It’s not just about beating your opponent. You have to internalize competitiveness and take pride in what you do.

11. Switching a sport focus on and off as required.

12. Personal management: Don’t duck potential problems; take on the problems directly to prevent small problems from building into bigger problems.

13. Thriving on the pressure of competition.

14. Take the right approach: Always be ready to play.

15. Accepting that competition anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it.

16. Have passion for what you do.

17. Having an insatiable desire and internalized motives to succeed.

18. Bouncing back from performance setbacks as a result of increased determination to succeed.

19. Remaining fully focused in the face of personal life distractions.

20. Pushing back the boundaries of physical and emotional pain, while still maintaining technique and effort under distress (in training and competition).

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