I once heard Emilio Estevez (as Billy the Kid) in the movie “Young Guns” say to his posse that “Everyday you should test yourself. The day you stop testing yourself is the day you’ll die!” You know I must say that I have to agree with the kid. However, I’ll have to agree under different circumstances. Assuming you are not running a gun slinging posse you may not die, but you’ll certainly not progress in anything unless you have some self-motivation and mental toughness. This is a test in and of itself. Here are 3 valuable traits your mental toughness will provide for you in your fitness and strength program.
1. Overcoming Pain: If you have ever had to fight and push your way through any difficult training session, practice, or competitive event then you know exactly how exhaustion can beat you down. The only thing that stands between the exhaustion beating you down and you not allowing it to beat you down is your mental fortitude. The ability to push through the pain will get you a victory in the end.
2. Overcoming Injury: I think we can all agree that none of us like dealing with injuries. Injuries can certainly be a setback for any strength and weight-loss program. The key to overcoming injuries has to do totally with your mental attitude and intrinsic motivation. If you have had major injuries like myself that require serious surgery and rehabilitation you can’t let it stop you. You must accept it and learn how to push forward. This is an extremely valuable trait you gain from being mentally tough.
3. Overcoming Defeat: I used to tell myself that every defeat was simply motivation to achieve more victory. Lets face it, life is great when you are on top and winning. This doesn’t reveal anything about you. During my time as an assistant at UGA I heard head coach Mark Richt say that “Adversity doesn’t build one’s character, it reveals it!” The point is that if you are winning then that is obviously wonderful, but what will you do when you face defeat? How will you handle it? This is where the element of your mental toughness comes in.
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I’m Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!