6 Elements of Mental Toughness

Warren 'Coach' NyeAll Sports, Sport Tips

Mind Over Sport with Coach Nye…


      Mental toughness Focus

When I speak with athletes and business people I can make the Mental Toughness subject relate to both.

You want to know how?

Ya I thought you would 🙂

Well it is kind of simple if we think about it. Both in business and in sport you are competing to do well and be the very best. Your own mindset has to be on top of your game and you need to be ready to either switch plans or game plays.

I believe there are 6 core elements in mental toughness that are used for both business and the athlete.

Take a look at this quick check list which is called;

6 Elements of Mental Toughness

  1. Flexibility.Game-ready leaders can absorb the unexpected and remain supple and non-defensive. They maintain humor even when the situation becomes tough. If something isn’t going well or doesn’t turn out as expected, they remain flexible in their approach and look for new ways to solve the problem. Just like a quarterback faced with a broken play, a leader may have to decide quickly on a different way to get the ball down the field.

Also, leaders must continually be open to re-educating themselves, even in the basics, which they may have taken for granted for too long. They need to exercise caution in defensively falling back on ideas they know and are comfortable with rather than looking for new ways of doing business.

  1. Responsiveness.Game-ready leaders can remain engaged, alive and connected with a situation when under pressure. They are constantly identifying the opportunities, challenges, and threats in the environment. They understand that they need to think differently about how their environment and business operate.

Just as a coach may change strategies at halftime in response to the way a game is going based on the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, game-ready leaders in business must respond to changes in the environment and the players.

  1. Strength.Game-ready leaders can exert and resist great force when under pressure and to keep going against insurmountable odds. They find the strength to dig deep and garner the resolve to keep going, even when in a seemingly losing game. They focus on giving their best and fighting hard until the end, with persistent intensity throughout the game.

Just as athletes dig deep to find the physical and psychological strength to continue through adverse and tough situations, game-ready business leaders must exhibit the same strength. As James Loehr puts it, top athletes think, “While this is tough, I am a whole lot tougher.” Game-ready business leaders bring the same intensity, through all the continual pounding.

  1. Courage and ethics.Game-ready leaders do the right thing for the organization and the team. They suppress the temptation to cut corners or to undermine others so they come out on top. They have the courage to make the hard but right decisions for the organization.
  2. Resiliency.Game-ready leaders rebound from disappointments, mistakes and missed opportunities and get right back in the game. They have a hardiness for enduring the downs of a situation. They remain optimistic in the face of adversity and quickly change when necessary. They resolve to make things better and are experts at figuring out ways to do more with fewer resources.
  3. Sportsmanship.Game-ready leaders exhibit sportsmanship. They don’t let the opponent know when he or she has gotten them down. “Chin up,” I say to my son. Clearly, we all experience disappointment, attacks from others, an occasional blow to the stomach. However, the behavior exhibited by game-ready leaders after losing or being attacked by others or the situation sets the tone for the rest of an organization. Additionally, top athletes support their teammates and their roles. If teammates start competing with and attacking one another, it is difficult to win.


We all need these same markers of toughness to succeed and lead in today’s business environment and in sport.

You tell me if there is more and what you believe in – send me a reply back at coachnye@mindoversport.com

Always Welcome new comments!

Until next time.


Coach Nye

About the Author

With years of experience in sports and business – from sweeping the floors when starting off in business, to coaching a very successful National Championship hockey team and then managing other hockey teams along the way – the Coach has seen it all!

Coach Nye is the founder and CEO of Mind Over Sport (www.CoachingMindOverSport.com), a world wide leader in effective mental fitness/toughness training, leadership, stress management training and life coaching. Since being involved in the sport of hockey, Coach Nye has trained numerous players to the professional level and continues to this day to connect with them and many others to help them through different stages in their playing careers. Coach Nye has created his own weekly podcast show, Mind Over Sport Podcast Show with Coach Nye with over thousands of followers and listeners. While also working with great organizations such as Womens Hockey Life, The Coaches Site, My Pro Hero, Weiss Tech Hockey Magazine and Changing the Game Project. He currently resides in Lucan, Ontario Canada.

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