How to Train Mental Toughness
For some reason 'mental toughness' has been coming up a lot with people I talk to regularly. There have been a lot of questions about 'mental toughness' and whether people have it and how to train it. Which got me thinking:
When do you need Mental Toughness?You need it during difficult times of competition. During stressful times. When things aren't going well. When the other team is fighting back. When it is difficult. When it is uncomfortable. When things are really not fun.
When do you train Mental Toughness?
I'm going to make the assumption here (for right or wrong) that you train mental toughness during practice.
How do you train Mental Toughness?
You train it by having parts of practice that are difficult. Where players don't feel good about things. When they don't get to laugh things off, to ignore bad things or uncomfortable things. And if that is happening, it isn't fun for the coach. It is uncomfortable and stressful.
It has to be a SAFE place, but it won't be a FUN place.
Most players (and many coaches) think that they have to be having fun to be getting better. But there is no way to train the ability to work hard in stressful and difficult times, while making sure that practice is only full of smiles. You can't avoid it.