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Using Failure to Get Better: Learn from The Best for a Clearer and Tougher Mental Game

The first step to developing mental toughness is having clarity on understanding what it is. What mental toughness feels like and looks like, how to utilise it for optimal performance.

I’ve had many athletes ask how to improve their mental strength, so they can perform at their peak in training and competition.

Every athlete knows it’s an integral part of your game, but deep down know that work needs to be done. Many simply acknowledge it, but don’t do anything about it. They think mental strength will develop by itself with age and experience.

In consultations age and experience bring you maturity. Either emotional or physical. Mental strengthening and becoming mentally tough is a skill. You need to learn it. Who better to learn it with a sport psychologist, a coach or the pros themselves to bring some practicality behind the learning?


99% of athletes are super talented. When you know you have the talent and you know you’re putting in the hours of training – naturally you want to be rewarded with your efforts and you want to win or succeed at all costs. 99% of athletes have this but fail. They are so close but yet they are so far. It’s clear that their mental game is holding them back.

Below are some following excerpts from some clients over the years. The following examples are common experiences and thoughts and feelings for many athletes in many different sports…

· I feel like I want to win and can win.

· I can’t control my emotions.

· I let my opponent beat me today. He did nothing special to win.

· I know that I am not far from beating players that beat me in tournaments, but I just need that extra little mental boost to raise my level of performing…

· Sometimes I still cannot get over mistakes in my head.

· I feel frustrated all the time – nothing seems to work when I’m losing

· I also talk to myself a lot during competition about what just happened, what to do next and what my opponent is doing.

· I just need that extra mental edge to get myself to the next level.”

· I find myself tightening up in competition but I’m completely loose and free in competition.


Can you relate to this athlete?


Do you find yourself with mixed results? Do you get close to winning, achieving a personal best or have great training sessions but cannot execute that level in competition etc? Are you great during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game? In fact, many athletes struggle with the same problem….

You are probably reading my blogs because you are looking for answers and if that is the case, an improved mental strengthening skillset is just what you need to take your game to the next level and developing consistent performances under any conditions

An improved mental game is just what many great NBA players have used including Jordan, Brady and LeBron James. Many NHL players such as Carter Hart have worked tirelessly to develop to showcase his skills at the NHL level. NFL players like Brady, openly talk about the mental side. In tennis, Djokovic, Hewitt, Nadal, Federer, consistently discuss the work they have done off the court. It’s inevitable – you want to truly be successful; you have to do the work – day in day out.


Every single athlete and coach out there from any sport is in agreement that an improved mental game is the much-needed edge to get to the next level, but it takes work. Saying it is completely different than doing it.

These famous players have already provided a roadmap for how to improve your mental game. Mental toughness has been around forever it is not a new concept. However, medial professional and psychologists are learning about the brain, human behaviour and relationships every day. Its constantly moving. Elicit the expertise from a mental strengthening coach and work every day to hone your mental skills – you will see results. You will be a better person and a better competitor.


How to Develop Mental Toughness

1. Start by understanding what mental skills are

2. What skills are missing in your game? Is it confidence, focus, composure, trust in your skills, consistent routines, etc.?

3. Decide what mental skills you want to improve! What will impact your performance the most?

At Athlete IQ mental strengthening programs start with these Five lessons:

These lessons are compulsory before an athlete can begin work on the signatiure program.

Mental strengthening – before you go into the signature workshop of 6 sessions.


1. Managing Expectations: letting go of the perfectionist in you or the expectation of perfectionism. Dealing with expectation, strict or fluid.


2. Where to Focus: Teach you on where to place your focus, realigning your focus to the present and the small things that will help establish you as mentally strong. This will help you by teaching you how to focus on the process and refocus you when you are distracted. All athletes become distracted at some point, Athlete IQ will teach you how to mitigate distraction or how sometimes it can help you to get your head reengaged and back in the game when you lose your focus. Distraction can be a good and bad thing depending on what sport you play.


3. Pre-emptive Confidence – Stimulating confidence levels prior to competitions. Why is it important to be proactive in sport? This goes into Energy, Body Language, Elite Behaviour. This session goes in managing confidence killers. Engage in dialogue about what hurts and destroys confidence and why language and positivity is so important.


4. Trusting your skillset – This session focuses on how to do that. What process you can do to develop robust trust and belief in yourself. This session is where we really dive into how you can utilize your practice game and turn it into successful, sustained consistent in competition. We go into why sometimes you can perform tight or anxious, or feel cloudy in decision making, worrying about mistakes etc.


5. Composure and Managing Emotions. This session is hugely important to a successful athlete. Without this skillset, you will not provide yourself with the necessary strong foundation to execute all of the above.


These five mental skills cover a lot of ground with my athletes and provide a sturdy base to know the player. If you’re interested in our mental coaching programs, schedule a free 20-minute introductory consultation here.

Our program exists to make athletes better.

It is all about building confidence.

Boosting Your Self Awareness and Self-Confidence will develop a heightened Focus. Work with an Expert Mental Coach anywhere, anytime

If you’re an up and coming athlete or already a top performer but are lacking in some areas. Talk to us as Athlete IQ can help you overcome your mental game issues with Personal private Coaching. Wherever you are in the world. Meet with us via Skype, phone, FaceTime, or Zoom Meeting. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches and sporting organizations all over the world.

Mental toughness coaching assists serious athletes like you to expose the beliefs attitudes and behaviour that keep you from performing to your potential. You’ll learn the why, how, what and when inside mental game strategies. This is to perform at your peak more often, when you need it the most, overcoming current performance plateaus and lack of consistency in your athletic journey.

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