What’s the magic ingredient that makes athletes winners?

With the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games presently in full swing it is worth considering what factors play a big part influencing who wins and who loses. What enables an individual to raise their game against competition at crucial moments under intense pressure? Is it talent, tactics technical skills or is there something else?
The world of Sports Psychology has researched this in great depth over the years. Their findings suggest athletes with mental toughness have the key ingredient for success. Confidence, clear thinking and resilience are found to be prerequisites playing a big part in winning or losing. Generally, by the time athletes reach the big stage the majority are physically prepared for the challenge, but this will only get them so far. For optimal performance under pressure athletes need to have the ability to stay calm and focused. They must not allow their emotions in the moment dictate or control the outcome.
Research has shown athletes who work with coaches on psychological training can increase their mental toughness by 20-30%. By developing mental skills around positive thinking, visualisation, anxiety control and goal setting they become better equipped to cope with challenges and enhance the possibility of maximising their potential.
This teaches us a valuable lesson how we can approach everyday life’s challenges. Whether in our private or professional lives we have an opportunity to develop a winning approach based on mental toughness. By building our self-belief, clear thinking and resilience we can learn to thrive rather than just survive.

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