Mental Toughness Training For Athletes: Importance of Joy
Mental toughness training for athletes doesn’t always look the way you might think. Many people look at mental toughness as getting through unbearable physical pain or being able to push your limits and get through uncomfortable moments. This is definitely apart of mental toughness. However, in order to be mentally tough and to get through the uncertainty and discomfort that will exist it is important to also make sure you are having fun and keeping the joy alive. We know that joy is a key ingredient to high performance. It helps us to get into a flow state, it helps us stay loose and to be able to maintain a clear and composed mind. This is not to say that joy by itself makes us mentally tough, but too often it is left out of the equation. It gets lost. Especially for athletes when the sport they are doing turn into a career and a job.
We must be able to enjoy the process, enjoy the path we have chosen for ourselves. If not then we end up getting to a point of burnout or starting hating the process and become overly negative and pessimistic. I have seen this time and time again with athletes I am working with, they have stopped enjoying what they are doing. They get consumed by things they can’t control which feeds their anger, resentment or feelings of negativity. Feeling like they are not being heard or valued. If you are not enjoying the path you are on, then why are you on it? It doesn’t mean you will enjoy every single aspect of it, but the overall purpose and reason you are doing it should include elements of enjoying it.
As an athlete you do many things today that will not give you a return on your investment until weeks, months or years later. So we must find joy within the pursuit of what we are looking for. We must be able to enjoy the grind, to find moments of laughter, moments of gratitude and truly enjoying the place we are in in our lives. We are so focused on the past or where we want to be, and lose sight of the here and now, and the beauty it can have. So make sure you open your eyes and take a look, and find something that you enjoy in what you are doing.
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Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction)
Masters General Psychology (with distinction)
Sports Hypnosis Certification
Muscle Activation Techniques Certification
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