Athletes tend to simplify things that they perceive relate to their performance. Many coaches and keen observers like to think that an athlete needs to be "tougher" to improve. Getting "tougher" is usually broken into the separate components of the body and the mind. Want to get faster? Train harder; it's that simple. Want to get to the top? Get your head together; that's the key.
Well. It is true that you need to train as diligently as possible; hopefully that capacity improves daily. It is also true that if your state of mind is centered, if you are focused and able to perform while distracted by any number of stimuli, you stand a much greater chance of success. However, there is more going on than meets the eye.
One of our swimmers came across a fascinating article on this subject written by two sports psychologists at the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education. Drs John Bartholomew and Esbelle Jowers write clearly and succinctly on this subject. Included in the article is a really good Q&A with Olympian Garrett Weber-Gale.
We hope you find this helpful. Let us know what you think!
Don't Even Think About It: Athlete’s mental toughness as important as physical strength