I have a huge mirror in my bathroom. Big enough that I couldn't possibly need the whole thing to get ready in the morning. So I like to put a few things up as daily reminders of the task ahead of me; to spend my day being the best me I can be. One thing I have up there is a list of "Mental Toughness Tips" that I got at a race this year. They hold true not just for athletics, but for jobs or nearly any other aspect of your life! And now, I'd like to share them with you.
* Play to your own standard of excellence, not up or down to the level of your opponent.
* Be committed, even when you are not motivated.
* Maintain positive focus and effort at all time, especially after mistakes. Being positive brings up your teammates, being negative brings up your opponents!
* Have a specific goal for every practice. Be sure to review why you are a better athlete after each practice.
* Practice how you want to play. Give full physical and mental effort at all times.
* When under pressure, define what your job is and focus on that.
* Know that competitive anxiety is normal and prepares you for battle.
* Prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Nothing is better to build confidence.
* Take a deep breath to regain focus on the here and now.
* Your mind is built to warn you of danger; it is often best not to believe your mind when it worries.
Special thanks to Grand Rapids Sport Psychologist Dr. Eddie O'Connor for the great tips. You can follow Dr. Eddie on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/dreddieoconnor or on Twitter @ SportsDrEddie.
"Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles." ~Alex Karras