The following paragraphs come from an article on Coach Dave Rogers.
According to the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology, 2002, mental toughness is having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to:
Cope – generally cope better than your opponents with the many demands such as training, lifestyle and head to head competition that are placed on world class top performers.
Be Consistent – specifically, to be more CONSISTENT and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure’ Gianoutsos adds that world class athletes like Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, and Ernie Els have their counterparts in the workplace such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet….
One major difference is that athletes have a specific, more structured schedule, to attend to while entrepreneurs or corporate leaders have a schedule that tends to be 24/7 hour, 365 days a year, that can span not only five or ten years, an average for professional athletes, but for two, three or four decades.
The toll on the corporate athlete is often more extreme than the sports athlete and many of these corporate athletes do not have the support, infrastructure or resources to perform at their peak levels, especially the middle level executives looking to make it to the top.
Research from the Journal of Applied Sports Psychology, suggest that the four key components that make up Mental Toughness are:
Self Belief – leading entrepreneurs and top athletes must display an unshakable belief in their ability to achieve their competition goals. They have unique qualities and abilities that make you better than their opponents. On belief Lombardi bellowed “If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done.”
Motivation – top performers have an ability to bounce back from performance or market set backs with an increased determination to succeed. Corporate Athlete Ray Kroc shares numerous stories in his autobiography Grinding it Out of his trials and tribulations in building, stretching, and systemizing the McDonalds winning formula from his mid 50’s when he finally started to get things working for him in business. He faced many failures throughout his careers as a sales person and it was self belief and self motivation that saw him through the difficult times. Kroc is a classic example of an ordinary man, who thanks to an insatiable desire and internalised motivation to succeed, went on to do extraordinary things and changed the way the world ate forever.
Focus – Need an visual image of focus and intensity? Close your eyes and imagine watching Tiger Woods, wearing his red sweater, on the 18th Hole with a one stroke lead at the British Open (for a great You Tube www.coachdaverogers.blogspot.com) That is focus and intensity personified. World class performers remain fully focused on the task that they face, are not distracted by others, and have an amazing ability to turn Focus on and off as required.
Handling Pressure – the final component of mental toughness is that top performers love to let it all hang out. They thrive on pressure and they often raise to the occasion. Basketball phenom, Michael Jordan relished the opportunity to take the last shot of the game and throughout his career he won more than 2/3rds of the games with his last second heroics. Jordan shares that “I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why… I succeed. To make it to the top, a leader must be willing to experience the valleys to enjoy the peaks!