Mental Toughness?

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I abhor the term “mental toughness” and all the implications and baggage that comes with it. It is not part of my coaching vocabulary or practice. I want to help my athletes be mentally strong and understand why they are doing what they are doing. There are tough workouts and there are easy workouts all directed toward one goal: Preparing a robust adaptable athlete who is ready to thrive in the competitive arena. That requires mindful highly focused training that is done with intent and purpose. It means that the athlete has been there in mind and body every day with a clear focus on the task at hand. No puke workouts or punishment training because that is the fastest way to get the athlete to turn off their brain. Every workout demands intense concentration, so much so that the competition is easy. Be a coach and be a professional and help your athlete get better by guiding them and respecting them!

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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  • Shaun

    It sounds like your replacing the words mental toughness with intense concentration. When I tell my athletes to be mentally tough, it’s to remind them to stay focused on the task. I don’t see what’s bad about that.