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Mental Toughness Workshop


Andrew Ellis

on 2 July 2017

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Transcript of Mental Toughness Workshop

Mental Toughness
Have you a ....
Mindset, Dweck, C 2006
The chimp
"You have to keep your chimp in the cage
- your chimp is your emotional side, and in a pressure situation you have to react with logic, not emotion" Bradley Wiggins Winner Tour de France, Olympic Gold 2012
Who is in control
your human or chimp side?
Fact / truth
Logical thinking
Plan & action
Feelings / impressions
Emotional thinking
Plan & action
The world must be fair
The need to please others
Obstacles to mental toughness
Physical Resilience
Reflects the fragility or 'injury proneness' of an athlete.
Mental Resilience
Ability to keep going in training and competition whatever the situation occurs.
Emotional stability
General stability of the athlete's character on a day to day basis. It may or may not affect performance
Awareness and control
Reflects how aware the athlete is of situations and pressures that may affect performance and equipped they are to deal with them.
Level of independence and responsibility. Do all aspects of their lifestyle habitually reflect that of an elite performer.
How well the athlete communicates with their coach and significant others. Relates to giving feedback, expressing feelings or interacting with team mates.
Reflects the ability of an athlete to persevere with the relevant training that will

allow them to achieve their short, medium and long term goals.
Reflects whether an athlete has and displays a long standing and unshakeable and realistic belief in their ability to achieve their goals.
Handling success and failure
Reflects the ability of a an athlete to act in an appropriate manner when winning and losing.
Characteristics of mental toughness
Mental skills of successful athletes
Basic skills
Attitude and Mindset
Long term belief and focus of an individual
Related techniques
Athletes use a variety of methods to give themselves belief in their ability to compete. Some of these are backed up by science and others are not. Here are some examples. In sport if it works, use it.
Goalsetting for long term success
Leap of Faith - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00wwvy2
Developing a consistent positive attitude towards your sport is crucial to long term success. Refocusing when things go wrong and keeping a robust mental attitude is vital to maintain belief and focus.
BBC - Mental Attitudes in Sport http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/the-importance-of-mental-attitude-in-sport/7177.html
With coach
Outcome goal
2. Performance goal
3. Process goal
Reduce body roll
0.5s off PB
Long term goals
2012 - Mathew Syed http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19145914
Faith and superstitions
Christine Ohuruogu
Sport is an emotional activity. When planning or reviewing try to look at the big picture and avoid all or nothing thinking. Try to keep in mind why you first started playing / competing.
Controlled Breathing
Thought Blocking
Music / Video
Goal setting
Trigger words /
Cue cards
Black box
Progressive Muscular Relaxation
4. People skills
Handling failure
Handling success
1 . Attitude
Choke or Panic
Does it exist?
Coping with
pressure in sport
How do you view it?
"Champions take chances and pressure is a privilege."
Billie Jean-King , 6 times Wimbledon singles champion
“Ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”
Stephen R Covey, Author
Why we choke or panic under pressure?
Managing stress and
pressure in sport
under pressure
Can you compete under pressure - Test BBC https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/labuk/experiments/compete/#
‘Pressure is nothing
more than
the shadow of
great opportunity.’
Australian Institute
of Sport article
Test yourself
Developing Routines
Thought blocking
Trigger words
Cues cards
Black box
Controlled breathing
Progressive muscular relaxation
Michael Johnson
400m sprinter
Coping with pressure
GB paralympic athlete involved in London bombing
David Beckham - long term refocusing
Over thinking - concentrating too much on technique or the environment. Losing instinct.
High expectations
The cure
Why do experienced athletes choke?
Athletes who put too much pressure on themselves are vulnerable - they care too much! (Cannot separate logic from emotion)
What you want will
come easily
"Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake .... We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources ...... the human individual lives far within his limits"

- William James

2. Motivation
3. Goals & commitment
Based on: Ohio Centre for Sport Psychology - Lesyck. J.J.
6. Mental Imagery
5. Self-talk
Preparatory skills
Performance skills
7. Managing Anxiety
8. Managing emotions
9. Concentration
Threat or opportunity?
Unlike normal athletes, elite athletes 'in the zone' complete skills without thinking, sub- consciously. When things go wrong, thinking about their skills is not natural and can result in a downward spiral in their performance level.
Novotna chokes again
Rory McIlroy choke
It affects the best
AASE Workshop
- Controlled breathing
-Thought restructuring
- Self-talk
- Trigger words
Thinking too little. Forgetting or not understanding all the relevant options due to anxiety. Going back to your instinct.
Helpful techniques
Positive response
Negative response
Fight or Flight
To act instinctively can be a good thing e.g. running from danger or in sport clearing the ball from the goal area.
Instinct could also result in a problem. E.g. A scuba diver gasping for air or in game sports instinctively going for the ball and fouling a player.
- Routines and planning
- Training for possible scenarios
- Relaxation & breathing techniques
- Visualisation
- Key cues, triggers and self-talk
Fake it!
Research suggests that if you act confident using body language your physiology will respond in a positive way - if you do it often enough confidence will become a habit. See the video from TED below.
John Landy - Runner
In January 1954 John Landy after recording a time of 4:02 seven times stated " Frankly I think the 4 minute mile is beyond my capabilities. The world wants it desperately, but I don't think I can".
John Landy was self coached
Roger Bannister
In May 1954 Roger Bannister who was perceived as not being as good a runner as John Landy ran at Oxford aiming to break the four minute mile. Conditions were poor and he wanted to pull out. His coach told him he believed he could do it and if he didn't try today he "might regret it for the rest of his life"
In May 1954 Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier running 3:59:4
46 days later John Landy ran 3:58:0
I don't think I can
The power of the mind
... and how it can control your actions .... if you let it.
The chimp

.... as a performance technique ?
The mindset to succeed
Challenging beliefs
Full transcript