Post by : Luis Zuazua

Are you mentally tough?

Let’s start this journey of self-evaluation with a simple question. What’s your rebound time? First of all, I need to define “rebound time”. Rebound time is the time it takes from the time you have been knocked for a loop to the time you are once again yourself, performing at peak performance. In other words, after you’ve been knocked flat on your back, how long does it take you to get up? I’m not just talking about just getting knocked down physically. I’m talking about getting the “holy mess” knocked out of you mentally and emotionally as well. Do you bounce back immediately? Are you one of the rare athletes that bounces right back after a severe blow or setback. Do you bounce back bowed up, with fire in your eyes and grit and determination to prevail over whatever it is that’s confronting you? If so, that’s fantastic rebound time! These are the athletes I refer as “WARRIORS”. The great athletes operate in this zone.

In contrast to that, most athletes operate the majority of their sports career in the next zone I’m going to describe. After a set back, do you lay there moaning for a few seconds wallowing in self-pity, then gradually pull youself together and get back to your feet — while at the same time letting everyone know of your feelings by your facial expressions and body language? You’ve seen this over and over in athletic competitions. You’ve probably done it. This is who I call the “LOSERS LIMP”  or  “WOUNDED HERO” you try and work youself back into the game and make a contribution.

If this describes you, the time it takes for negative impact to comeback tells the story. You’re probably a marginal perfomer at best. You’re the kind of player that drives coaches crazy! They scream at players like you, things like: “Can we count on you?” and “We’ve got to have you. Can you get back in the game or not”? You have glimpses of glory and what might some day be, however your mental toughness or lack of it stands in your way. You’re inconsistent at best. You’ll never reach your potential unless you change in this department. If that scares you –GOOD. The first requirement of change is recognizing that change is needed. The second requirement is DESIRE.

The third category of the mentally challenged is by far the worst and encompasses every pansy that has ever attempted to play at any level of organized sports. When hit with a negative setback of any kind, do you roll over and play dead for a long time, possibly even for a few hours and then in your own time ( long after your competition or opportunity to win is over), fearfully drag yourself back to your feet, if ever. Do you lie there and die so to speak, never again to face that particular challenge? Do you quit, run and hide — “LOOK FOR MOMMA?” In other words, are you what i like to refer to as the “PARTICIPANT?” Participants are only in the game as long as it’s convenient and enjoyable for them to be there. As soon as it becomes a true test of who they are — they bail. I also refer to them as the “yearbook” guys. They’re only on the team to get their picture in the yearbook. They love all the attention and hoopla about being a part of something great. They like being on a Championship Team, but they really don’t care about being a part of that championship team. In other words they want all the GOODIES without paying the price.

WHICH ONE BEST DESCRIBES YOU?

  1. WARRIOR
  2. WOUNDED HERO
  3. PARTICIPANT

Be Honest — Self Evaluation is crucial to peak performance. How you think in a crisis will determine how you act in a crisis and how you act will alter the immediate result in your game.

Author: David Carr