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Mental Strength and Success in Sports

Today’s competitive world no one participates in sports only for pleasure and entertainment, every player desires win and success. And this success does not solely depend on the physical fitness of a player, it requires some mental skills. one of the most crucial skill is mental strength/ toughness.

Michale Sheard in his book ‘The Achievement Mindset: Understanding Mental Toughness’, presents some thought provoking questions. which are following-

1) What separates a player thriving on elite competition from one who disintegrates under pressure?

2) Why is it that some players are able to succeed in the face of adversity while others cannot?

3) How does a player come back to winning ways after personal defeat and failure?

Many suggest that the answers to these questions lie in the concept of mental toughness of a player.

The concept of mental toughness is no longer new, and recently much more research and writing are being done in this regard. Therefore, sports psychologists, coaches and players are now able to realize that only physical fitness and intellectual capacity cannot guarantee success.

Every competition is actually a test of control of mind and body connection. Yet, many players have to prepare themselves physically day by day without any mental preparation. However, those athletes who take physical training as well as prepare mentally they are much better than others.

Gucciardi, Gordox and Dimmock conducted an experiment on the mental strength of the players in 2009 and observed that, when the physical fitness and merit are equal, then this mental strength differentiate big performers from others. Success cannot be achieved only by merit and many examples can be found that highly talented players have experienced knocked out because of a breakdown in mental toughness and the, seemingly, less talented athletes have succeeded at professional levels due to their mental strength.

So, it is expected that if players and coaches collectively combine physical and mental training, then it is possible to increase the chances of establishing a consistent peak performance every time they compete.

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