Why Mental Strength is Better Than Mental Toughness

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It seems like all athletes want to be mentally tough and think that tougher is better.  Coaches are always preaching about how to develop mental toughness and how people need to “toughen up”.

Mental toughness is often associated with

  • The refusal to give in
  • Pushing through tough situations
  • Psychological or emotional resilience
  • Hardiness
  • Fearlessness
  • Being strong-willed

I think there is a huge misconception out there. I actually try to never use the saying ‘mental toughness’,  as I’d rather talk about perseverance and strength. This week I will give you tips and insight about how to become tougher and stronger…but not in the way you may expect.

To make what could be a very long post/rant a bit shorter…

It is not cool, helpful or good for you to

  • Be stubborn
  • Pretend you have no emotions – fears, concerns, emotional-pain, sadness, stress, worry, doubt, issues
  • Act fearless or like nothing bothers you
  • Try to push through everything and anything by hiding it, not talking about it, covering it up, acting like you don’t feel it or like it doesn’t hurt (especially emotional stuff)
  • Always be on the grind – thinking you have to do more, more is better, and feeling like you have something to prove

*Note to coaches: We need to be especially careful and make sure that we don’t teach an unhealthy type of “mental toughness” to kids/youth

Mental strength comes from persevering and learning how to talk to yourself through incredibly tough situations. You’ve gotta learn what works for you and then attack the uncomfortable regularly.

This post barely even hit on it. If you want to have a strong mind, so that you can overcome anything then you gotta check out The Build Mental Strength 70 page eBook & The Strong Mind Challenge



6 Comments on “Why Mental Strength is Better Than Mental Toughness

June 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM

Great stuff. Keep it coming Coach!


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Cory Dunn
June 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I like using “mental strength” instead of “toughness.”


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