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Monday, February 12, 2018

Annie Hathaway Diving Class of 2019 Recruiting Video and The Mentally Tough Athlete Presented on US Sports Net by CarsDirect

Annie Hathaway's Diving recruiting video. MHS '19.

The Mentally Tough Athlete

By: Spencer Wood


‘Mental toughness’ is like good food or good weather – it often means many different things to many different people. Like ‘mental training,’ ‘peak performance training,’ and ‘sports psychology,’ the words and pictures that these terms connote are incredibly diverse. Despite the broad range of definitions, most coaches and athletes alike agree that a fairly common definition is the athlete who is able to compete to their full potential in the big games that count the most – namely the playoffs – regardless of the distractions they may encounter. Sounds fairly easy, doesn’t it? But when we consider a full post-season game, chock full of opponent intimidation, fan noise, external pressures, heightened media attention, clutch situations (that demand clutch focus and composure), not to mention the fear of injury due to elevated playoff aggression, mental toughness for many individuals and teams and athletes is a little more elusive.

Great coaches and players understand the importance of mental toughness all too well. Indeed, in the midst of collegiate national championship, WNBA and NBA championship euphoria, sports writers and anchors across America collectively want to ask each of the winning coaches a myriad of different questions. But among these questions, one common question always seems to emerge: "Tell us about what got you here coach?" And as each coach gushes with admiration for their team, the most consistently mentioned attribute is that special character trait known as mental toughness.

Pursuing mental toughness… The pursuit of mental toughness should be viewed in a similar manner to the pursuit of that ‘perfect practice.’ Almost every coach understands that in the history of sports, there has never been a ‘perfect practice.’ Many teams have at times been close, but it is the process of aggressively pursuing perfect practices that wins championships. Developing mental toughness should not be viewed any differently. Above all, developing mental toughness is a continuous process that takes both time and dedication. The great teams and great athletes spend many seasons developing this all-important athletic trait. Let us take a brief snapshot of a world renowned athlete to illustrate this point. While Lebron James is not viewed by many to be the single best scorer in the NBA, nor the best passer, defensive player, or rebounder; at the tender age of 21, Lebron is already considered by many to be the best All Around Player in the game today. He is unquestionably one of the most exciting and talented players in the world, and if he continues to stay healthy he will no doubt continue to churn out Top 10 Plays of the Week with the regularity of another player who used to where #23. However, the question on the minds of some of the NBA’s most respective pundits has less to do with individual output and stats, and more to do with Lebron’s overall Mental Toughness and the degree to which his toughness will translate into golden orbed trophies and diamond studded rings – in short, NBA championships.

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