Israel Byrd Mental Toughness Presentation


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Understanding Mental Toughness

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Israel Byrd Mental Toughness Presentation

  1. 1. Understanding Mental Toughness By Israel Byrd Lindenwood University 6/15/2014
  2. 2. Introduction • As a former professional athlete and football coach, I use the term mental toughness often to teach, motivate, and inspire athletes to give their all and succeed on and off of the field. • I explored the concept of mental toughness and how it is used in sports psychology. • Is it a personality trait, state of mind, or both?
  3. 3. What is Mental Toughness? Prior studies of mental toughness have defined it as:  “the ability to cope with or handle pressure, stress, and adversity; an ability to overcome or rebound from failures; an ability to persist or a refusal to quit; insensitivity or resilience; and the possession of superior mental skills.”  “Mentally tough athletes respond in varying ways which enable them to remain feeling relaxed, calm, and energized because they have learned to develop two skills: 1. The ability to increase their flow of positive energy in crisis and adversity 2. To think in specific ways so that they have the right attitudes regarding problems, pressures, mistakes and competition.” Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton. (2002), p. 205
  4. 4. What is Mental Toughness? Jones, Hanton, and Connaughton published their work defining mental toughness in 2002 and later developed a framework with four dimensions that was published in 2007. Their formal definition of mental toughness is: – “having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to : generally, cope better than your opponents with many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that sport places on a performer; specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure” Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton. (2002). p. 209
  5. 5. Mental Toughness Framework Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton’s Four Dimensions of Mental Toughness: Attitude/Mindset Training Competition Post Competition Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton. (2007). p. 249
  6. 6. Four Dimensions & Attributes 1. Attitude/Mindset • Belief • Focus 2. Training • Using long-term goals as the source of motivation • Controlling the environment • Pushing yourself to the limit 3. Competition • Belief • Staying focused • Regulating performance • Handling pressure • Awareness and control of thoughts & feelings • Controlling the environment 4. Post-Competition • Handling failure • Handling success Jones, Hanton, & Connaughton. (2007). p. 249
  7. 7. What is Mental Toughness? • The Clough Model of mental toughness used a sample of athletes to show a link between toughness, coping, emotional reactivity, psychological skills and performance. • Clough and his colleagues viewed mental toughness like a personality trait with four components referred to as the 4 C’s: – Confidence - Challenge – Control - Commitment Clough, Earle, & Sewell. (2002).
  8. 8. Mental Toughness Framework • Clough and his colleagues developed the MTQ48 (Mental Toughness Questionnaire–48) – Contains 48 items that are scored on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1-strongly agree to 5- strongly disagree. • The Clough Model has led to further research and development of other questionnaires to measure mental toughness. Clough, Earle, & Sewell. (2002).
  9. 9. What is Mental Toughness? Vince Lombardi has even been quoted on the topic of mental toughness saying: “Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action’.” Lombardi. (2010)
  10. 10. Conclusions • Psychologists and researchers have defined mental toughness very broadly. • There are a wide range of characteristics and traits associated with success that have been associated with mental toughness. • As an elite athlete, I can say that mental toughness is a required skill for success both on and off any playing field and it will continue to evolve.
  11. 11. References • Clough, P., Earle, K., & Sewell, D. (2002). Mental toughness: The concept and its measurement. In I. Cockerill (Ed.), Solutions in Sports Psychology, 32-43. • Jones, G., Hanton, S., & Connaughton, D. (2002). What is this thing called mental toughness? an investigation of elite sport performers. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 14(3), 205-218. • Jones, G., Hanton, S., & Connaughton, D. (2007). A framework of mental toughness in the world’s best performers. Sport Psychologist, 21(2), 243-264. Retrieved from • Lombardi, V. (2010). Famous Quotes. Retrieved from