Mental strength is a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace. As a broad concept, it emerged in the context of sports training, in the context of a set of attributes that allow a person to become a better athlete and able to cope difficult training and difficult competitive situations and emerge without losing confidence. In recent decades, the term has been commonly used by coaches, sport psychologists, sports commentators, and business leaders.
There are several factors as to why a positive mentality or mental strength is a huge benefactor to success in any chosen sport, or, profession. An elite athlete or business person must be able to handle pressure, have self-belief and avoid any lifestyle distractions. They must have that urge to win and know that they have all the capabilities to do anything they desire. This separates the good athletes and business people from the elite athletes and business people.
Samples of attributes were taken by Graham Jones to examine differences of success between athletes and which ones possess a strong mentality. It was proven that there were 30 attributes suggesting mental toughness in super elite athlete but only an average of 12 in elite athletes indicating the mental difference to become a super elite performer (Jones et al.,2007). This illustrates how important a positive mentality is for athletes to be successful.
“Mental Strength” is frequently used colloquially to refer to any set of positive attributes that helps a person to cope with difficult situations. Coaches and sport commentators freely use the term mental strength to describe the mental state of athletes who persevere through difficult sport circumstances to succeed. In support of this, a number of studies have linked mental toughness to sporting success or achievement. However, it is often simply applied as a default explanation for any victory, which is highly problematic as an attribution. Criticisms about the use of this imprecise approach abound.
However, within the past fifteen years, scientific research has attempted a formal definition of mental strength as a psychological construct with clear measurement criteria, allowing robust analyses and comparisons to be made.
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