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    Characteristics of a mentally tough athlete


    There are lots of different ways to describe and define mental toughness. It can be described as the ability, willingness, and discipline to perform effectively and productively, regardless of the situation or circumstances.

    Mental toughness involves positive thinking, focus, concentration, persistence, perseverance, and a strong belief in self. It is the ability to ignore distractions, focus on what is important, and block out what is not.

    Mental toughness is working through adversity, overcoming obstacles, and refusing to give up or give in.

    And, although the focus of this blog post primarily relates to athletes, mental toughness does not apply only to athletes. Since we all face obstacles and adversity, mental toughness can be an asset to students, business professionals, teachers, coaches, parents, and any other situation or life experience.

    Here’s a list of 10 Characteristics of a Mentally Tough Player, excerpted from the article, Developing Mental Toughness:

    1. Doesn’t let one bad play lead into another. Short memory.
    2. Is able to take constructive criticism from a coach or teammate with the right attitude.
    3. Is still able to be a good leader even when they aren’t personally playing well.
    4. Is able to run offense and execute the correct play even when they are physically tired.
    5. Still shoots the basketball with great form and technique when they are physically fatigued.
    6. Doesn’t check out of a game that they are losing, and looks like there is no chance to win.
    7. Doesn’t complain about something being too difficult, but finds a way to get through it.
    8. Stays patient and is able to run offense even when being pressured by the defense.
    9. Stays in control of emotions and doesn’t let the size of the stage negatively effect them.
    10. Doesn’t put in the bare minimum during conditioning, but looks to try and win every sprint.

    Thanks to my friend, Laurel Heilman of STUDENTathleteWorld, for sharing this information.


    Steve Hare
    Steve Hare
    The creator and publisher of, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for, a member of the network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. was created in 2004 and was a member of the network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.
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