June 16th, 2021
Mental toughness is a phrase that inspires many and a concept that many strive for in their sport and performance. But what is it? First, let me start by saying that being mentally tough does not mean we should not be mentally weak. I would never want my client to believe that. Moments of weakness are part of the human experience, and the more that we accept or normalize that concept, the easier it will be to manage difficult times. If you may hold that belief, try changing the language from mental toughness to resilience, strength, or some other phrase that shifts your thoughts to a more positive outlook.
Mental toughness has many definitions, especially within sport and performance. Researchers and professionals in the sport psychology field have discussed several characteristics of mental toughness, which include (but are not limited to) focus, believing in yourself, coping well with pressure, understanding what is in your control and what is not, having an awareness of thoughts/emotions/feelings, regulating performance, and persistence in the face of adversity. Mental toughness encompasses many skills, and like all skills, it can be developed! Some of the skills you can develop for mental toughness are mindfulness, activation regulation, reframing perspectives, goal setting, and self-talk cueing.
Many of the athletes I have worked with would agree that mental toughness encompasses the unshakable belief to achieve their goals despite setbacks, adversities, and stressors. Some may even believe that you should perform consistently well, even with those stressors. Whatever your belief may be with mental toughness, I challenge you to think about where you developed those beliefs and what a realistic definition of mental toughness looks like to you.
Meet Neva: Cognitive Enhancement Specialis
Neva believes we all experience setbacks and challenges that we need to overcome in life, whether that’s in the athletic/performance realm or everyday life. And even if nothing is going “wrong”, there are skills that we may need to learn to optimize our well-being.
“I personally believe that every day I wake up, I should strive to be better. What can I do? What can I learn to be better? How can I invest in myself today? What skills can I put in my tool belt? What do I not know about myself that I need to know to be better?”
Neva is excited to bring an individual’s performance from level 5 to 10; she wants to take people to a new level of excellence that they have never experienced before. One of Neva’s many passions with mental performance, is assisting patients in overcoming injuries, in a multitude of ways, including but not limited to: injury rehab, conditioning the mental state while enduring injuries, overcoming injuries to produce optimum performance, and coming back from high-stress injury environments with a clear mind.