By Jackie Resler – Tennis Pro Instructor

Many athletes who want to maximize their athletic abilities agree that learning physical skills is easier than developing mental skills…

…skills such as focus, motivation, and resilience. Learning how to volley is easier than developing coping skills to control negative emotions. However, mental toughness plays an important role in maximizing athletes’ full potential.

Everyone will always face experiences where they encounter tough situations, especially during a losing streak and contemplate quitting. But the difference between an average player and a mentally tough player is that the mentally tough player has the ability to keep battling when the going gets tough. Players with high levels of mental toughness will go beyond difficult obstacles and find a way to reach success.

I want to show you that you have the ability to reach that higher level of mental toughness no matter who you are or what you were told.

You have the ability to take your tennis or any athletic ability to the next level.

It starts with passion and motivation. If you look at any top professional athlete, they have the passion and motivation to chase after their goals and are actively pursuing those goals. The passion and purpose help them focus on their goals, implement coping skills, and outwork any competition. Put in another way, if you love what you do and you have a strong ‘why’ for the activity you do, then you have passion and purpose.

Without those two ingredients, athletes become distracted, dispirited, and disconnected when they face a tough obstacle. Athletes may be good at the sport they play but if they do not have the “heart” for the sport, they are limited in reaching their full potential.

With passion and purpose, athletes are able to put in countless time and effort necessary in their training.

They appreciate all the hard work they put in to excel in their sport even if training is hard and painstaking. Athletes may not love every moment of training, but their passion and purpose mean that they have the heart and motivation to overcome tough times.

I want to show you that you have the ability to reach that higher level of mental toughness no matter who you are or what you were told.

You have the ability to take your tennis or any athletic ability to the next level.

It starts with passion and motivation. If you look at any top professional athlete, they have the passion and motivation to chase after their goals and are actively pursuing those goals. The passion and purpose help them focus on their goals, implement coping skills, and outwork any competition. Put in another way, if you love what you do and you have a strong ‘why’ for the activity you do, then you have passion and purpose.

Any player can play great when the competition goes their way. But when a slump occurs, the setback can show the true level of mental toughness. Those without passion and motivation will give in to pressure and blame anyone or anything other than themselves for poor performance.

Athletes can push through tough times and be hungry for the next day when they have passion and purpose. The mind of a passionate athlete can account for stress and failure, and successfully learn from those negative results for the next match.

I want you to remember this: it will not be the ability that will determine the results or end of the tennis match, especially if your opponent is the same level as you. It will be the person who is most focused, most resilient, and most motivated who will win.

Passion and purpose are the factors you can control to help impact your performance.

This is the start to become a mentally tougher athlete.