4 C’s of Mental Toughness
What all athletes at SKPC have in common is that their sport is important to them and they’re committed to being the best that they can be within the scope of their limitations. They set high, realistic goals for themselves and train hard. At SKPC, we believe that you do not have to have a room full of trophies, win a state championship, or make the front page of the sports section to be a successful athlete. As long as you are enjoying your sport and pursuing your goals with maximum effort, you are successful because what you get back from your sport will be well worth what you put into it. At SKPC, it is our understanding and insight into how psychological factors affect an individual’s physical performance that sets us apart from other strength and conditioning facilities. We understand that mental barriers are often greater than physical ones. We arm each of our athletes with specific mental skills and strategies to enhance their game-day performance and conquer these frustrating mental barriers.
How to Master the 4 C’s of Mental Toughness
In order to master the 4 C’s of Mental Toughness, all SKPC athletes will work daily on improving the following:
- Realize that attitude is a choice.
- Choose an attitude that is predominately positive.
- View their sport as an opportunity to compete against themselves and learn from their successes and failures
- Pursue excellence, not perfection, and realize that they, as well as their coaches, teammates, officials, and others are not perfect.
- Maintain balance and perspective between their sport and the rest of their lives.
- Respect their sport, other participants, coaches, officials, and themselves.
- Are aware of the rewards and benefits that they expect to experience through their sports participation.
- Are able to persist through difficult tasks and difficult times, even when these rewards and benefits are not immediately forthcoming.
- Realize that many of the benefits come from their participation, not the outcome.
Goals and Commitment
- Set long-term and short-term goals that are realistic, measurable, and time-oriented.
- Are aware of their current performance levels and are able to develop specific, detailed plans for attaining their goals.
- Are highly committed to their goals and to carrying out the daily demands of their training programs.
- Realize that they are part of a larger system that includes their families, friends, teammates, coaches, and others.
- When appropriate, communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs to these people and listen to them as well.
- Have learned effective skills for dealing with conflict, difficult opponents, and other people when they are negative or oppositional.
Dealing Effectively with Emotions
- Accept strong emotions such as excitement, anger, and disappointment as part of the sport experience.
- Are able to use these emotions to improve, rather than interfere with high level performance
- Know what they must pay attention to during each game or sport situation.
- Have learned how to maintain focus and resist distractions, whether they come from the environment or from within themselves.
- Are able to regain their focus when concentration is lost during competition.
- Have learned how to play in the “here-and-now”, without regard to either past or anticipated future events.
Non-Sport Performance Situations
All SKPC athletes will be able to apply the mental skills that they learn from us to a wide variety of non-sport, performance situations. First, let’s look at what characteristics define a performance situation:
- The situation is often scheduled in advance.
- The situation usually has a defined beginning and end.
- The circumstances are known in advance.
- The results are evaluated by standards that are usually known in advance.
- The results are uncertain and may involve psychological risk.
- The results are important to the performer.
- The performer’s behavior is goal-oriented.
- The results are influenced by the performer’s skillful behavior.
Some real life examples of non-sport performance situations that our athletes will eventually encounter are:
- Taking a final exam or S.A.T
- College Admissions Interview
- Job Interview
- Giving a class presentation
- Taking their driver’s test