I previously posted a review of the book Do Hard Things, by Steve Magness. I also shared some of Magness’ views on Developing tough players and teams in a different post. Another way people think of mental toughness is in terms of being clutch. Magness wrote about that as well, making the argument that being clutch isn’t innate, but rather trainable. He suggests there are five characteristics.

  1. Appraisal of the situation as a challenge – This is as opposed to seeing it as a threat
  2. A fixed goal – A clear focus on the desired outcome (not the process)
  3. Complete and deliberate focus – Attention narrows to only what really matters
  4. Deciding to increase effort and intensity – Flipping the switch
  5. Perceived control – If we feel we don’t have control, motivation fades

Think about how we can work with our athletes on each of these items.

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John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

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