Mental Toughness: Train your heart and mind to be a world-class performer
There’s a very small difference between extraordinary and ordinary. For an Olympian, 1/100th of a second may be the difference between winning gold and second place. What is that difference?
Thoughts + Beliefs + Feel + Habits = Performance
Extraordinary performers think different than others. They’ve developed advanced beliefs about what is possible. And most importantly, they have learned to control their state (reflected in how they feel) better than the rest of the competition. That’s why they are world champions. They see the world different and process their thoughts differently; they have a different mindset.
When you learn how the mind works, the way your subconscious operates, how beliefs form, and how your heart and body fit into it all, then you can create routines that get you into your ideal performance state much more often.
In my experience playing and coaching pro baseball and the thousands of hours of research into high performance (from which I wrote Inner Excellence), the most extraordinary performers have learned how to be fully engaged in the moment, with no attachment to the outcome.
The Spider Model
Swagger: how you carry yourself; controlling your physiology. Your posture especially after a mistake or disadvantage is crucial to how you feel, as well as whether your eyes go above or below the horizon.
Presence: learning to be fully present in the moment develops a presence about you; a certain energy that connects with beauty and great moments.
Imagination: in the most pressure-filled situations, we need to be creative to see what’s possible, and connect with that energy, not what’s in our way.
Discipline: especially of your thoughts and routines. World champions have world-calibre routines that they follow to a T. Do you?
Enjoyment: to play the game like a kid; to have fun while performing is a big part of extraordinary performance.
Relaxation: learning how to recover from a stressor, how to relax before a crucial moment, how to relax in your down time — all crucial to high performance.
“I didn’t learn how to win until I learned how to breathe.” – Tom Watson, hall-of-fame golfer