1Mental Toughness Lesson Six: Mental Toughness Aim: Learn what mental toughness is, where a competitor’s strengths lie and how they respond to pressure.Objectives:By the end of this lesson, competitors will have:Identified why mental toughness is important.Looked at the four components that make up mental toughness.Established their strengths and areas for development.Looked at the disadvantages of being mentally tough.CPT References:For further reading, look at the competition preparation toolkit:Being Mentally Tough.Competition Performance Improvement – Mental Toughness And Your Competitive Performance.Resources:Several sheets of A4 paper and a pen for each group member.(All image rights have been obtained for use within these World Skills UK educational materials. These materials may be re-distributed for non-profit educational purposes only.)
2Mental Toughness Why Is Mental Toughness Important? Performing To The Best Of Your Abilities.Positive Behaviour.Wellbeing.Studies have shown that there is a clear and positive relationship between your Mental Toughness and:Performing to the best of your abilitiesIt’s not only about winning, it’s about pushing yourself to go even further. This means working effectively and to a high standard.Positive behaviourHaving a “can do” approach. If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you won’t.WellbeingFeeling satisfied and motivated, even when the going has been tough and there have been setbacks.AspirationsBeing ambitious and motivated to be the best you can be.Aspirations.
3Mental Toughness The 4C’s Of Mental Toughness. There are 4 components that make up Mental Toughness:ControlDo you believe you can do it? Do you keep calm when doing it?CommitmentDo you make promises? Do you keep those promises?ChallengeAre you motivated to do it?ConfidenceDo you have the ability to do it even when things get difficult?
4Mental Toughness Commitment How committed are you on achieving your goal? Are you able to remain focused on the task at hand in order to achieve the goal that you have set yourself for the future?High ScorersWill be able to handle and achieve things even if they look hard. Athletes high on commitment strive to win, but also strive to achieve their personal best. They are making a promise to themselves.Low ScorersWill not like competition and pressure and may even be frightened of it. In sport, the athlete won’t put the practice in to be the best they can be. They will be late for training, forget equipment and be uninterested in striving for personal bests.
5Mental Toughness I like making promises and setting goals. I don’t let myself get easily distracted.I don’t get bored with a project or a piece of work.I don’t pull attention away from a task to stop people from asking questions.I like competition and pressure.I like testing myself and proving to others that I can do something.Exercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.I will work hard out of work time to be the best I can be.I enjoy gaining further skills and knowledge because it’s a way I can improve.I prioritise different tasks and projects so that I know what needs to be given more attention.
6Mental Toughness Control How in control do you feel of what’s going on around you? How in control of your emotions are you?Life controlIs about whether you believe you make an impact on what goes on around you.It is a measure of self-esteem.Emotional controlIs about how good you are at managing your emotions in front of others.Are you somebody who when you get annoyed, shows it to others by shouting and being rude or can you keep your cool?
7Mental Toughness Life Control High scorersAre more likely to believe they control what happens to them. They believe they can achieve anything if they want to. They feel that their involvement in tasks will make a difference. In sport, athletes high on this scale will want to be part of a team because they believe it is them that can make a difference to that team. They feel responsible for making the team the best they can be.Low ScorersAre less likely to believe they control what happens to them and what goes on around them. They tend to panic when they’re given another project or task to work on. If an athlete fails to win a competition or doesn’t hit their personal best, they are likely to give up because they believe it isn’t achievable. They won’t be motivated to work hard for it in the future.
8Mental Toughness I like to work on more than one job at a time. I will have a go at most things because I believe I can learn something from it.I feel comfortable making decisions for myself or a group.I don’t need supervision from other people.I am well organised. I arrive on time and have everything I need for a project.If a project or task gets difficult I work hard to get through it.Exercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.I feel I can make a difference by involving myself in a project or task.I am good at managing my time.
9Mental Toughness Emotional Control High ScorersAre better able to control their emotions and less likely to show their emotions to others. This means other people are less able to take advantage of them. In sport being able to look calm can be a big advantage. It means your opposition is less able to manipulate you. To be the best, you need to remain calm regardless of how you’re feeling inside.Low ScorersEasily show their emotions to others when they feel upset or annoyed. In sport, some athletes lose their composure after they make a mistake, someone on their team makes a mistake, or the referee makes a bad decision. To be the best, you must accept that you are going to make mistakes and experience setbacks along the way.
10Mental Toughness I don't show a reaction if I am criticised by others. If a task doesn’t go as planned I stay calm and don't get annoyed at others in the team.I don't let my annoyance show if others "have a go at me”.If I'm not performing as well as I should be at work, I don't get upset and let others see it.If something goes wrong and it’s my fault I am happy to take responsibility.If I make a mistake or fail at something I don’t think about it too much. I move on.Exercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.I usually believe I can do something when I’m given it.
11Mental Toughness Challenge Do you see challenge and pressure as an opportunity or a threat. Competitions can be very challenging. Do you see the competition as an opportunity to show people what you can do? Or do you see it as a threat and try to avoid it?High ScorersPeople scoring high will look for challenging situations, because they see them as an opportunity to learn more and be the best they can be. For athletes, the challenge may not be just to win a competition, but to beat their own personal best. They are always looking for ways to be better.Low ScorersPeople low on challenge will see change and challenge as a threat. They fear it because it is something different. In sport, athletes that find competitions threatening are less mentally prepared than their competitors and are more likely to “choke” on the day.
12Mental Toughness Challenge I thrive in competitive situations because I like to be challenged.I will take the lead in the team because I enjoy the responsibility of the challenge.I will take part in a task even if I’m not very good at it.I ask questions so that I understand what’s expected of me.I feel relaxed with major competitions and training exercises.I feel pressured to achieve a target.If I’ve failed at something before, I believe I’ll be able to do it next time.Exercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.I see competitions as an opportunity to “show off”.I try to appear positive if I’m asked to do something I don’t like or something new.I look for opportunities to be the best.I put myself forward for projects.
13Mental Toughness Confidence Is about how much self-belief you have to complete tasks or projects. Others with the same abilities but with lower confidence may think these tasks are too difficult. This can be seen as a measure of self-efficacy.Confidence in abilitiesConfidence in abilities is about how much you believe you can achieve something, how well you think you can do in a competition or when faced with a challenge. It is about having a “can do” mind-set. If something goes wrong do you think “I can still do this”?Interpersonal ConfidenceInterpersonal Confidence is about how comfortable you are at dealing with others.Do you feel comfortable working with very competitive types or do you feel intimidated by them?Are you prepared to assert yourself to others?
14Mental Toughness Confidence In Abilities High ScorersDon’t need colleagues, friends or family to tell them they are doing well in their apprenticeship, they “know” they are doing well. These people tend to be positive about their work and life. In sport, athletes are coached to have a “can do” mind-set to believe they can beat their competitors no matter what.Low ScorersNeed to be told they are doing a good job by others. They don’t like being the centre of attention or taking risks because they believe things are bound to go wrong. Athletes will think their competitors are more able than they are even, when they aren’t.
15Mental Toughness I like being the centre of attention I like to ask questions and don’t worry if it makes me look silly in front of othersI like taking risks because it means I’ll probably make a mistakeI am not scared of failureI am happy to have a go at most thingsI enjoy "showing off" my abilities in front of othersI do well at most thingsExercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.
16Mental Toughness Interpersonal Confidence High scorersFind it easy to talk to most people, even difficult people. They are less likely to let others persuade them into doing something. In sport, athletes are likely to stand their ground and do what they want to do rather than what their coach tells them to do.Low ScorersTend to feel uncomfortable when dealing with other people especially awkward or very competitive people. Athletes can feel intimidated by other athletes who are “cockier” than they are. They can also be easily influenced by the team to skip training and not put the extra work in.
17Mental ToughnessIf someone has a different opinion to me I enjoy trying to change their mindWhen I’m in a discussion I tend to be one of the most talkative, even if I don’t know a lot about the topicI deal well with assertive and competitive peopleWhen I’m challenged by others I tend to stand my groundI tend to influence others in my team quite easilyI don’t worry about what other people think of meExercise: (5 minutes)For each of these statements, decide whether it is something you do always, sometimes or rarely:Write down the two that you do the most.Write down the two that you do the least.I enjoy asking questions about lots of different things
18Mental Toughness Is Being Mentally Tough Always A Good Thing? CommitmentCan over commit.Can be unrealistic about what can be achieved.Control - Emotional and LifeCan dive right into something.Can appear uninterested in something .ChallengeGet easily bored.Take on too much risk.ConfidenceBelieve your ability is far greater than your actual ability.Stop others “getting a word in”.As with many things in life there are potential downsides to being very mentally tough.It is important to be aware of these in order to be the best you can be.Here are some potential downsides for each of the 4C’s of mental toughness.
19Mental Toughness What Does This Tell You About You? Exercise: (20 minutes)Look back at the things that you do all of the time and the things that you do rarely:What are your 4 main strengths?What could be an over played strength and so something that you may wont to watch?What do you most want to develop in yourself?What will you now do to help yourself and your performance?
20Mental Toughness Click Here To Watch The Video Here is a story that shows what the right mental toughness can achieve.YouTube Link:Click Here To Watch The Video