Do you ever feel like the effort you’re putting into the game just never seems to be enough? Even after you’ve practiced hours into the night, day after day, you still seem to have nothing to show for it?

This is a great time to STOP, LISTEN, and then ACT.

As I lecture around, observing coaches, athletes, teams, and parents, one of the ideas I speak about is mental toughness. And I’ve noticed that there are a multitude of different definitions, and just as many styles and diverse interpretations, about mental toughness.

Even on television, we have seen some awful examples of coaches whipping chairs across the room in heated basketball games, and Head Coaches tripping opposing players in football.

But that isn’t the kind of “toughness” we’re talking about.

We use  a wide variety of scientifically engineered sports profiles to help any athlete, at any level, evaluate if their thoughts are in the game, out of the game, or somewhere in between. Here, we measure our steps forward to release mental stress and replace it with mental confidence which we call mental toughness.

The “Scoring Touch”

Here is an example to help explain mental toughness:

I once had a thirteen-year-old male hockey player come to me and I asked him why he did. His response was, “I’m having trouble scoring.”

I learned from his father that he was getting plenty of ice time, tons of instruction on shooting and skating, swinging the stick to score, and yet… nothing seemed to be working. It was really bringing the player’s attitude down.

We used a benchmark behavior profile tailored for Hockey players and used it to better understand underlying motivating factors that might influence his play.  This benchmark also helped me help him build up the player’s mental toughness, and within a couple of weeks, the “Scoring Touch” returned with a new sense of how to stay mentally strong even under difficult times.



One of our models is:


STOP what you are doing and try something new! If what you are doing isn’t working, it’s best to explore new ideas.

LISTEN to yourself and evaluate if you are being too tough on yourself or selling yourself short. An incredibly helpful technique to try is believing in advance: imagine yourself catching the ball even before it is thrown. Close your eyes, repeat your dreams and goals in your head like a mantra, like you’ve already achieved them. It does make a difference.

ACT Write it down. Dreams and goals that are not written down are merely wishes. Wishes, dreams and goals that are written down become Goals & Objectives that can be measured and achieved.

Give us a call at Better Life Training and let us help you move from selling yourself short to achieving measured goals and solid achievements!

“Coach Steve” Sullivan – Breakthrough Performance Coach

Kate Cosette – Writing Assistant

About author
Richard Burch

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