Different Ways to be Mentally Tough

Since mental toughness is the ability to reach and maintain peak performance through a variety of stressors, that means there are many ways to be mentally tough, or to use mental strength. You can be mentally tough when it comes to coping with pressure, stress, distractions, boredom, adversity, pain, fatigue, or the perception of effort. The mentally toughest athletes can cope through all of these stressors. However, this doesn't mean you're not mentally tough if you can't cope through all of these stressors very good. You may be mentally strong for some of them, but not all of them. This is fine because it's rare to be faced with all these stressors at the same time. Also, an athlete that is especially mentally tough in one area can use this specialty to perform very well in games and achieve great success over their careers.

For example, Marshawn Lynch may not have been the mentally toughest athlete overall, but he still used his mental toughness in a specific way to be highly effective. He did this by giving his trademark "beastmode" effort. He was able to tolerate very high levels of effort, pain, and fatigue. As a result, he was able to reach very high levels of performance at certain times.

One of the most clutch athletes I've ever seen is Novak Djokovic. He's been able to withstand extreme amounts of pressure and maintain the focus and relaxation needed to save many match points throughout his career. He is mentally strong in many other areas as well, but his clutchness is what most separates him from others.

Another example of an athlete using their mental strength in specific ways is Vince Carter and his longevity in the NBA. Playing in the NBA for 22 years like he did takes an extreme amount of consistency, dedication, and love for the game. Most people aren't able to maintain their drive for this long of a time.

There are plenty of other examples of how athletes use their mental toughness in specific ways. There are some athletes who never give up. There are some athletes that can overcome almost any amount of adversity. There are some athletes that seem to always play with joy and love for the game. There are some athletes who use their intelligence and problem solving skills to outsmart their competition. There are some athletes who never get emotionally rattled in games. There are some athletes who play with intense concentration and never get distracted. There are some athletes who are quick learners and can learn a new technique or playbook in days. There are some athletes who are great teammates and play very unselfishly. There are some athletes who are great leaders. And there are some athletes who are above average in all of these areas and have no weaknesses.

The point is, you need to use your mental strengths to your advantage. Remember that even if you struggle in one area of the mental game, this doesn't mean you're not a mentally strong athlete. Lastly, always strive to improve in every area of the mental game to become the mentally strongest athlete that you can be!