Mental Conditioning Course Content
The truth is, I’ve covered most of the principles of my newly released Mental Conditioning Course right here on the blog (in one form or another). So I wanted to bring it all together in one post to describe the content of the course, and then after if you’re still looking for a deeper dive – and how to pass it on to others, then the course is right for you! Enroll here.
Not only can you learn to master it yourself, but I set you up with everything you need to teach it to your team.
Following the skill of thinking right comes positive self-talk and affirmations. Much like thinking right, positive self-talk is also a skill that can be learned. Affirmations are a method of practicing that positive self-talk and can be valuable on both the individual and team levels.
Being optimally aroused for performance requires a basic understanding of how our brains are wired, and also how we’re able to control our arousal level. Simply by controlling our thoughts, activity and breathing we can go from under or over aroused to optimal arousal for peak performance.
Receiving billions of inputs, our minds and bodies are required to concentrate on what matters. This skill is especially important in sport when there are endless distractions pulling us from what matters for performance. In this lesson we’ll review the skill of concentration and also how to deal with distractions.
Confidence, you guessed it, is a skill and a choice. It’s actually two choices: choosing to be competent, and choosing to be focused and confident about your performance.
The area in sport where you can put all your mental conditioning into practice is between the whistle blowing the play dead up until the snap of the next play (or similar time in other sports). That’s the time where we apply our focus, do our routines and choose to bring our best.
We’re not only developing individual athletes, but teams as well so it’s important to understand the psychology of how a team comes together, and for this we use Bruce Tuckman’s stages of team performance.
Mental toughness isn’t easy to define but there are qualities within athletes that we can describe as displaying mental toughness. We can also come up with ways to purposefully develop mental toughness daily and weekly, both within ourselves and as a team.
In this lesson we learn the four emotional markers of mental toughness and highlight the first one, emotional flexibility. Armed with examples and strategies for being emotionally flexible, we can guide our athletes toward becoming more mentally tough.
After reviewing the four emotional markers of mental toughness we narrow our focus to defining what emotional responsiveness is, how it shows up in teams (team chemistry), and how to better facilitate an emotionally responsive team.
In this lesson we learn the power of emotional strength and how it can show up as we face struggles – whether on or off the field (Brett Favre example). One of the key takeaways of this lesson is that the emotionally strong athlete (or person) acknowledges and works through their emotions rather than denies their emotions.
The final pillar of emotional stability is what most people associate with mental toughness and being able to bounce back. In this lesson we cover the characteristics of emotional resilience, tendencies of people who have it, and I share a personal story about practicing emotional resilience.
We wrap up the course with a lesson on accountability and what it means to bring it all together. The whole model of mental toughness was designed with peak performance in mind, and accountability is the final tier that, having mastered it, will lead you to your (and your athletes’) peak performance.
All the lessons fit together in the Model of Mental Toughness below, resulting in optimal performance!