BITG 009: A Lesson in Mental Toughness

January 25, 2013

A lot of emphasis is placed on the mental toughness of athletes these days, so in this episode we explore what it takes for an athlete to push through when others would fold.

Every athlete gets impacted by their emotions and, if unchecked and uncontrolled, it can lead to choking. So if we don’t manage the fall out and, better still, immunise against it happening in the future – it really can be a career ender.

When we talk about mental toughness it isn’t about just being strong of mind, it’s about being emotionally bought into the outcome, what the big picture is and having emotional buy-in to that.

Emotions shouldn’t be making our decisions for us. Emotions are categorisations; they enable us to categorise things in an efficient way and in normal life that’s great, they work fairly well. But as an elite athlete under competition, when you don’t always win every time, you don’t want the emotions or the pain of the past memories, dictating how you play now.

So we discuss tangible resources to manage and avoid the mental doubts that can cause competition choking, lower anxiety and ensure you feel far more in control.

We discuss the three approaches that, when put in conjunction with each other, can enable an athlete to bypass the emotional baggage they’ve built up over the years and build better neural pathways by associating a positive outcome to that choice.

CLICK HERE For Access To All Brain In The Game Episode Transcripts.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Coach Ashish Phadke February 7, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hi Dave,
I’m a swim coach in India.
I subscribed to your podcast today and I’m very happy about it.
I hope these tips will be helpful in training my swimmers mentally.
I will have to probably create my own version of visualizations, catalogs, reference points or blue prints in the sport of swimming for my individual swimmers after analyzing their thoughts..
I might have some problems in that where i could require your help.
Thank You So Much..
Coach Ashish


Dave Diggle February 10, 2013 at 12:15 am

Hi Ashish,

Welcome, I am pleased you are enjoying and finding value in my podcasts, taking the time to understand each athlete is time exceptionally well spent in my opinion and you will not only see faster but more sustainable results.
visualisation is incredibly individual, the more mentally associated the visualisation is the more cognitively accepting it becomes.
If you require any guidance just let me know.



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