Developing Your Mental Resilience

15 Dec 2023
6 min read
Author – Vedika Jogani

A recent graduate from Ithaca College with a Master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science, specializing in Mental Performance, Vedika Jogani is OMP’s Product and Content Manager. During her studies, Vedika worked closely with Ithaca’s Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams and Women’s Volleyball Team as their Mental Performance Consultant. Vedika is currently completing her Certified Mental Performance Consultant Certification.

Athletes go through a lot of tough things, like intense physical training and the emotional stress of competing.

Challenges like injuries, performance slumps and the constant pressure to do well can be really hard.

What is the difference between winning and losing? It’s mental resilience.

This means being good at dealing with pressure, overcoming setbacks, and taking care of your well-being even when things get tough.  

In the arena of sports, resilience is not just a quality; it’s a skill that athletes can actively develop.

Mental resilience can be cultivated throughout an athlete’s journey through these techniques and strategies:  

  1. Finding Other Interests: Athletes should explore diverse interests, expanding their skill set beyond the arena. This not only provides a mental respite but also guards against burnout, fostering a holistic approach to well-being. 
  1. Viewing Setbacks as Growth Opportunities: Shift the narrative on failure. Rather than a roadblock, view setbacks as a crucible for growth. Reflect on the experience, the lessons to be learned, and envision a path forward, thereby transforming setbacks into steppingstones. 
  1. Letting Go of Perfection: Perfection is an ambiguous goal. Embrace the fluidity of the journey, accepting changes and realities along the way. 
  1. Seeking Social Support: Forge connections with a network of support. Engage with parents, coaches, and teammates, creating a safety net of encouragement. Professional help is a powerful tool in constructing a robust foundation of resilience. 
  1. Finding Your Why: Ground yourself in purpose. Regularly revisit the fundamental question of why you engage in your sport. Aligning actions with values fuels motivation, acting as a guiding light through the darkest moments. Find Your Why here.

These strategies and techniques can be developed through training psychological skills.

Coaches should incorporate these into their training regimen for athletes to enhance their mental resilience.  

1. Self-Awareness: Empower athletes to embark on a journey of self-discovery. By understanding their thoughts, emotions, and reactions, they gain the ability to navigate adversity with poise and regulate responses effectively. Read more about Self-Awareness.

2. Goal Setting: Illuminate the transformative power of goal setting. Whether short-term or long-term, goals provide a compass, filled with purpose and direction. Realistic, achievable objectives become a roadmap, sustaining motivation during testing times. Learn The SMART Approach to Goalsetting.

3.Positive Self-Talk: Dive into the realm of self-talk. Craft a positive and constructive inner dialogue. Equipping athletes with the tools to replace negativity with affirmations fosters a resilient mental outlook. Learn more about Positive Self-Talk. 

When athletes include these mental skills in their training, it becomes like the strong foundation of a building.

They don’t just handle challenges; they turn every tough time into a chance to get better. Becoming great at the mental side of the game is what pushes them towards success.

Resilience isn’t just a skill for them; it’s a big part of who they are as athletes. Work on your resilience in the OMP App.



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