It is interesting that the better we get, the more important mental toughness becomes—off the field as well as on it.
Here are three things that can destroy your mental toughness.
Tiger Woods used to say, “I expect to win the tournament.” Expectations are not confidence, but we confuse the two. Expectations and confidence are cousins. We can have confidence in the things we can control, but we have no control over how we want things to work out. Expectations are out of our control. Continuing to have high expectations means we could struggle when we have to adjust and troubleshoot. We basically only control our effort, our attitude, our confidence and how well we let go of mistakes and re-focus.
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Even Olympic gold medalists have confessed to having doubts. They just didn’t have them close to game time. Things go wrong and bad outcomes happen, but champions believe in their preparation and, more importantly, they believe in themselves. Fear grows on our doubts. When things are bad, remember it’s just temporary. Make adjustments, breathe, let it go and if that doesn’t work, do it again.
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Drugs & Alcohol
Talent is through the roof nowadays. For every person you see play on television, there are a hundred others whom you’ll never know. James Banks was the best college football player I saw live and in person (except for Randy Moss). After getting kicked off Tennessee’s football team, this same James Banks later stated, “All because I wanted to have a good time.” Examine the best in your area who didn’t make it, and chances are that off-the-field issues were the culprit.