The concept of mental toughness emerged in the realm of sports training. It is the measure of resilience adopted by an individual to predict success in whatever he does. It may be in the realm of sports, studies, or workplace. Mental toughness is one such attribute that makes a person a better athlete, student or a working professional. This concept of mental toughness first emerged in sports. The set of attributes allows a person to be a better athlete, cope with even the toughest of training, overcome competitive situations and come out victorious. The one who overcomes tough situations becomes confident day by day. Competitive sports make an individual mentally tough and so racquetball is so interesting. Racquetball is a fun and entertaining sport which gives the body a good exercise, but an individual has to be composed all throughout. The player needs to move forward and win the competition.

The Rocky movie series came up with some of the best quotations like the world isn’t “all sunshine and rainbows”. Further, it says that this world is a rough and uneven terrain where a person has to get down to his knees no matter how tough he is. But, views and opinions differ, and we mustn’t be pessimistic. In any case, mental toughness is not an inborn trait a person acquires. It is not in the genes and a person has to develop it himself. When one is frequently exposed to adverse conditions and difficult times, mental toughness automatically develops. Start practicing mental toughness from a very young age by indulging in competitive sports.

Parents must train their children to develop mental toughness by giving them difficult tasks from time to time. Whether a child turns out a successful athlete or not completely relies on the home environment. Train a child mentally by placing high expectations on his academic performance. A lot many factors play an important role here like a disciplined education system, good classroom rules and a high expectation on his performance. Besides, the set of good coaches can inspire him and help in developing a positive mindset. It is important for students to take part in extracurricular activities and in the school sports competitions from a tender age. They may take part in activities like gymnastics, karate, dance, music, a variety of youth activities, church activities, youth sports, etc., for they all will inculcate a sense of discipline and socializing skills. It takes a lot of time or preparation to develop them mentally. Once developed, they may face any difficult situation in life and stand victorious. If the child aspires to become an athlete, then the training program should commence right at the age of 13 years or 14 years. The training program will help him to develop strength, agility, will power and determination. Bring him in contact with good coaches for he will be accountable to the trainer or coach in the process. Only when he frequently faces peer pressure, he develops mental toughness. Mental toughness gives an individual psychological edge whereby he displays his peak performance, puts in maximum effort or efficiency when the demand is high. Be it training, stiff competition or a practice session, the person displays mental toughness and completes all. If the situation is demanding, the conditions can become adverse and it is only mental toughness which gives the person an edge over others. We can say it is a testing time for his mental toughness. When he/she is mentally tough, the person displays certain characteristic traits like the person is more confident than others, is motivated, is more focused and concentrates well. A person who is mentally tough is more determined, persistent and often displays leadership qualities also. He is calm, composed and maintains poise when situations are tough. But, this doesn’t mean that the result will be a win. These traits may show up even when the person loses or is about to lose.

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A superior work ethic and discipline are the direct gifts of mental toughness. At times, confidence only depicts mental toughness and so the great leaders do not need to develop mental toughness. Being lazy and anxious is no match to being courageous. It is said that to be mentally tough, don’t indulge in activities one loves to do. Rather, be involved in activities one dislikes. Slowly and gradually, mental toughness will become a lifestyle of the person. Some even say that discipline, mental toughness and focus are the keys to be victorious on a football ground. There are various ways of developing it. Meditation and exercises are just a few of them.

Tennis is again the game of mental toughness where a person’s head must be straight in the game. Half of the battle is won if you believe in yourself. Test matches test mental toughness, but it gives a sense of satisfaction as well. Practice certain attributes to be mentally tough. Parents, coaches and educators have a profound role in the process. No matter how capable the coach, it still takes time, effort and patience to develop mental toughness. A courageous individual develops mental toughness quite easily for he/she can bounce back from failure and emerge out successful. If the child fails to perform well in the class, don’t blame the teachers but rather blame the child. On the flip side, failure also makes an individual tougher. We have examples of Steve Allen, Bill Gates and Walt Disney who failed in their first businesses. Following a failure, they became mentally tough and changed their business strategy.

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Mental toughness, in other words, is the set of attributes that help an individual to cope with tough situations. Sports commentators and fitness trainers use this phrase quite often to describe the state of mind of athletes when faced with difficult situations. The trait is connected to achievement in sports and success in it. A sports performer copes with a difficult situation much better than his peers for he may better handle pressure and defeats and often moves beyond his physical limit during training.

According to Peter Clough, mental toughness is a personality trait with four important components, namely, control, confidence, challenge and commitment. In fact, it is not only limited to sports personalities. People display mental toughness when situations are tough and when they need to overcome it.

Would you like to read more about this topic? This book might interest you: Introduction to Mental Toughness.