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Everything Players Need to Know About Developing Mental Toughness in a 2 Minute Story About a Bus Driver......

 

 

 

Amazing as it sounds, everything players need to know about developing mental toughness can be learned in a 2 min story about a bus driver...

Each day the bus driver selects his bus route and tries to drive his bus where it needs to go. The more the bus driver is in touch with why it is important to him to do his job well, the more motivated he will be to drive well (Key 1: Performance Aims).

To increase the chance of a successful trip the driver puts his attention on the road in front of him/her (Key 2: Present Moment Attention) and takes actions of steering and pressing the accelerator and brake in a way that takes the bus in the right direction (Key 3: Committed Action).

The bus driver stops the bus to pick up passengers at each bus stop. Different passengers get on depending on the stop. The driver doesn't have a say in who gets on the bus, everyone is welcome as long as they pay their money. Therefore, sometimes good passengers get on the bus...

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Nadal's Superpower and How Players Can Develop It...

 

 

During the 2018 clay court season, Rafael Nadal broke another amazing record, becoming the first male player to win 50 straight sets on any one surface. Consider that in his last 46 sets on clay before yesterday, no opponent had reached a tie-break against him and just once had someone achieved a 7-5 loss and his mind boggling run seems even more astonishing.

It got me reflecting on the mental attribute required to achieve such a feat and one stood out.

 Relentlessness…

Andre Agassi described this attribute well in his book: ‘Open’. He said this about the difference between the great champions and the rest:

The more you can be present on every point. I think that’s why you see great champions separate themselves at the end of a set or at the end of a match, because they are the ones that aren’t changing in their execution. They are not assigning a value to any one point more than another. It is about what they do...

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3 Reasons Tennis Is Not A Game Of Perfect: Nishikori VS Murray

 

 

1.) We All Have Naturally Wandering Minds

It is hard for even the best players to continually commit actions to helpful process point after point because we all have a mind that is easily distracted…

And it looked today like both players were suffering frequent concentration lapses as the match ebbed and flowed one way then the other…

To help players improve skill in being able to aim and maintain attention on helpful processes throughout matches is simple to understand, but as we saw in today’s match, hard to do…

We simply get players to practice paying attention to present moment targets such as sounds, or physical sensations while stretching for as long as possible, while also encouraging them to recognize when they notice their attention has wandered, and return to the chosen target…

This improves attentional skill like fitness training strengthens muscles…

2.) Players Sometimes Get Caught Up in Nerves When Trying To Finish...

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Players Can Develop Mental Toughness Anywhere, Anytime...

 

There is NO more simple, powerful way for players to develop the 4 mental toughness foundations than through off-court attention activities.

Watch this video to see me complete a simple 'Sounds Attention' activity with USC All-American Jack Jaede...In the video I also explain to Jack how the activity relates to his development of mental toughness.

If you would like access to a download of the Sounds Attention Activity You Can Get It Here...

Wherever you're watching this, scroll down when you're done. Leave us a question or comment and all the best for the coming week :-)...

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Nick Kyrgios's Greatest Challenge

 

 

Despite Nick Kyrgios' awe-inspiring talent and unwavering self-belief…It appears clear that significant psychological hurdles stand between him and the fulfilling of his immense potential.

For example:

The loss of concentration during some matches…

Frequent intense anger…

His verbal abuse of others…

His occasional lack of effort…

Here's my take on why I think at least in part, Kyrgios' has developed an addiction to behaviours that serve to reduce fear/anxiety common to competing.

The 5 Behaviors…

1.) Appearing to Lose Concentration

Players can reduce difficult internal experiences without realizing to distract themselves away from the task at hand.

When we experience difficult predictions or judgments to do with competition outcomes, or difficult feelings and physical sensations to do with those thoughts such as anxiety, we may automatically shift our attention on to something else to avoid those difficult experiences.

This...

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3 Simple But Powerful Ways Players Can Develop Mental Toughness...

 

 

1.) Practice Improving Attention Skills…

The 1stbarrier to mental toughness is when our concentration lapses.

Players can lose concentration during matches when they get distracted by external causes (e.g., sounds), or also when their naturally wandering minds start thinking about things not to do with the match.

It’s quite amazing that although being able to aim and maintain attention on a helpful performance target is such a foundational requirement to successful performance…

And although we are regularly told to “Pay attention” during our developmental years, we rarely actually formally practice it.

This is a little like expecting someone to get fit without doing fitness training!

Here is a super simple way that players can develop attention skills during the daily activity of teeth cleaning:

Step 1.) The idea is to see how long we can aim and maintain our attention on a sensory aspect of the activity…

So the sound of the...

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