Mental Toughness in Athletics


An athletes mental toughness determines their character. Preparing mentally is just as important as preparing physically. Your attitude determines everything.

Sports visualization is the key to success because if you can visualize how to be successful eventually you will be. Success comes to those who are most prepared. Below are some sports visualization techniques that I recommend you should try before your next competition.

To have mental toughness in athletics an athlete must be able to conquer the fear of losing. Losing is only losing if you fail to get up and try again. Sports visualization can help you conquer that fear. Try it and you will be amazed.


12 Steps To Turbo-Charge Your Sports Visualization and Mental Toughness

1. Every night, half an hour before retiring, go to your room, where you can be entirely alone and as remote as possible from noise and distraction.

2. Seat yourself in a wide and comfortable chair, or, better still, lie down on your back at full length. See that your clothing is loosened, so that you will suffer no distressing annoyance on this account. Compose yourself as if for sleep, assuming a position of restfulness, abandon and utter relaxation. Close your eyes, letting the lids rest lightly on your cheeks.

3. Shut your mind resolutely against every form of bodily sensation. Forget for the time that you are encumbered with a body.

4. Bar out of your consciousness every memory, every thought of the past.

5. Build a mental picture of the thing you want to have, to do or to be – the one thing that you immediately desire first and most of all. By this we mean nothing indefinite. We do not refer to ultimate aims that can come only as the result of long periods of effort. We mean something specific, something that can be yours tomorrow, something that in itself constitutes the next step in your chosen career.

6. See yourself finding the ways and means of realizing your desire, overcoming obstacles one after another, all the obstacles that can possibly arise. See yourself called upon to display, and displaying, alertness, promptness, courage, confidence, resourcefulness, patience, push, enterprise, expert knowledge, insight, shrewdness, tact, self-control, decision. See yourself face to face with the situation that confronts you in real life and manifesting the qualities and doing the things necessary to your purpose. Put yourself body and soul into this picture. Multiply details. Rivet your mind upon it.

7. Advance step by step, logically, wisely, consistently, to the climax of the drama. See yourself winning out. See yourself solving the problem, getting the thing you want, acting the part you desire to play. Detach your spirit from the flesh of this world and incorporate it in the mental image of yourself. Live the victory mentally until a sense of its reality permeates your soul.

8. Make your dream picture as delightful as possible. Dwell upon it with joyful satisfaction. Warm your heart with a feeling of thankfulness that that which you have so long desired is really yours. This feeling of gratitude, this emotional element, will bring forth associations that will give life to the picture and will animate your faith. Keep yourself tight shut in this dream world for at least fifteen minutes.

9. Arise and make your preparations for the night. Then upon retiring once more close your eyes and let your mind dwell upon your vision for five or ten minutes or until you fall asleep. Let it be the last thing in your thoughts as you become unconscious.

10. Every time you are awake during the night call the mental picture before you and keep it in consciousness as long as you remain awake.

11. In the morning, immediately upon awaking, repeat the procedure set out in the third, fourth and fifth instructions.

12. The more of your spare time you spend in this way, the more promptly will you actualize your ideals. By repeated concentration, every detail of the image of your desire will be so deeply engraved upon your mind as to exert an influence throughout the day. It will inhibit wasteful emotions and impulses. It will give you poise and self-possession. It will so inspire you with its promise as to awaken an energizing response in the profoundest depths of your sub consciousness.

By Colin Joss © 2006