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Mental toughness is all about focusing on something that is going to be effective to have you play well and win. But if your mind wanders or a million things pass though your head when competing, then your mental game and results will suffer.

SO, does your mind go crazy when you are competing? Are your thoughts all over the place? Is there tons of stuff going on in your head?

If so, then that’s perfect because we are going to talk about that in this article!
Two Types of Thinking

The first thing to look at is that there are two types of thoughts and thinking.
The first type is the thinking that happens and the thoughts that come in your head randomly and you cannot control or shut them off. This is the thinking that goes on when you are driving, laying in bed at night or unfortunately, trying to be mentally tough. They also take absolutely no effort and bubble up randomly.
This first type of thinking has nothing to do with being mentally tough or winning. This is also the type of thinking that causes your mind to wander and focus on a thousand different things. Bottom line: it is bad for your mental game.

Then there is the second type of thinking. Have you ever done very difficult math, planned a complex event or done any other type of real hard thinking? Remember how this actually hurt a little? You felt a burn like you feel when you are lifting weights or running sprints, but instead of your biceps, it was your mind. This is exercising your mental toughness muscle and you were feeling it! This second type of thinking requires effort, focus and intentionality. It even hurts a little bit. This is the type of thinking for mental toughness. Bottom line: it is good for your mental game.
Now What?

First, lets categorize the two types of thinking to make is crystal clear. The first type is bad for your mental toughness. The second type is the type of thinking that it takes to focus and be mentally tough.

So what there is to do is to use the second type of thinking during the course of the competition. Use it to get yourself to focus on what it is going to take to win. It also takes not paying attention to the random thoughts that pass through your head, like what you are going to eat afterwards. Instead, you have to make yourself focus using the second type of thinking. When using your mental toughness muscle, you are unable to get caught up in the random chatter of your mind. You have to be focus and on to yourself the entire time and not let yourself indulge in the random thoughts that corrupt your game.

This is simple, but not easy. It may take practice and building your mental muscle to be able to do this, but in the end, you will have a huge advantage over your opponent and be able to focus on winning the whole time.

David Groemping
Gemini Mental Toughness Training
www.Sports.GemExeCoach.com

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Comment by Mr. Jessie L. on December 25, 2009 at 9:41am
Mental toughness is a key part of tennis at the higher levels of competition but i do enjoy thinking about what kinds of food i want to eat after i win this match!!! ;]

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