Athletes are aware that mental toughness is a key to their success. However, few are aware of how to test or measure this attribute. When you take into account athletes’ opinions that 70, 80 or even 95 percent of sports performance is mental, and that mistakes are usually the result of mental breakdowns, you can appreciate the importance of getting an accurate picture of how mentally tough you are. (Learn How to Break Out of a Slump.)
Most sports skills are easily tested—for example, 40-Yard Dash time, Vertical Jump height, Bench Press weight and throwing accuracy. Measuring mental toughness is not as straightforward. There are a lot of variables—including confidence, focus and resiliency—that are difficult to assess.
Two years ago, I set out to create an easy-to-use self-assessment for mental toughness. The idea was to break down the vague term “mental toughness” into core sub-areas, then pose questions that would help athletes determine how much of each trait they possessed. Athletes could move past thinking about mental toughness in a vague sense to more concretely defining specific areas of mental toughness, like focus, that they could improve upon. The end result is the world’s first mental toughness app: Sport Performance Assessment (SPA).
SPA is an affordable, convenient and fun teaching tool for athletes of all ages and skill levels. You can take the test several times throughout the season and track your progress via the trend analysis feature built into the app. Imagine how much you could improve your game by being able to identify which aspects of your mental toughness need improvement rather than focusing solely on the big picture.
Although it is universally acknowledged as a key ingredient for athletic success, ironically, mental toughness development is widely misunderstood or disregarded. In fact, some athletes feel that the task of improving mental toughness is only for losers, “problem athletes” and people who have “mental problems.” This could not be further from the truth. Mental toughness skills are essential for all athletes. Take your game to the next level, not only by focusing on physical development, but also by improving the key components of mental toughness with the SPA app.
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