Home Forums BB Form Mental toughness, optimism, pessimism, and coping among athletes

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  • matthiasramm7
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    There is ongoing debate around the conceptualization and definition of mental toughness (Gucciardi et al., 2015). This debate largely stems from two main perspectives that have recently emerged in the sport psychology literature. Unsurprisingly, trying or stressful times can be the ultimate test of mental fitness. When we are winded by a major life event, being able to recover quickly requires significant mental strength and psychological resilience. These studies demonstrate that MT has potential value for application in educational settings. Crust et al. first investigated the predictive value of MT in the sport-related academic domain. Using the MTI, Gucciardi et al. (2015a; Study 4) examined the associations between MT and self-reported psychological health, thriving, and goal progress both in academic and social domains over 10 weeks in 203 undergraduates. Both within-person and between-person differences in MT were used as predictors in a multilevel structural equation model. At both levels of analysis, MT emerged as a predictor of more positive and fewer negative emotional states, higher thriving as well as more academic and social goal progress. Some psychologists have argued that a separate, sport-specific definitions of mental toughness should be developed. They have highlighted that the attributes of a mentally tough athlete in one sport may differ greatly from the attributes of a mentally tough athlete in a different sport. Differences have been hypothesized between male and female athletes, as well as between “team sport” and “individual sport” athletes, but to date, little empirical evidence has shown what these differences are. When people improve emotional intelligence, they learn how to be vulnerable and grow from that vulnerability, they decrease ego and increase resilience, all of which affords them the ability to reach higher levels of mental fitness. This will also allow them to recover from a mistake on the court quicker, to stay locked in flow state during competition. This might look like mental toughness or the opposite of mental weakness when in actuality, this is emotional intelligence. Mental fitness is about a proactive approach to staying in good mental health. The brain is known to incorporate something called neuroplasticity, which means even after development is complete (mid-20’s), the brain still has the ability to learn and create new neurons through the process of learning. Emotional intelligence is something that can be learned and improved upon, like anything else, through practice.

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