Is mental toughness more important now than ever because life is more stressful than it used to be? In sports in particular, it is repeatedly emphasized that success is a matter of the mind. So should everyone be mentally strong? Thoughts on mental training and mental toughness...


Mental training is the intentionally repeated and consciously performed imagining of a movement or action. Endurance, perseverance, equanimity, resilience, determination, stamina, inner strength, discipline - these are some of the terms that can describe mental strength well. A mentally strong person can direct their own thoughts in a positive direction. Mental strength comes from the harmony between being and doing, between desire and reality, between wanting and doing. Those who are mentally and emotionally strong can fully exploit their range of performance despite all adversities.

  I live by the motto of always giving my best, keeping my thoughts positive. We gain access to our potential through the way we treat ourselves, how we look at external circumstances and how we set goals and then pursue them. With the realistic self-assessment, attitude, motivation, the right vision and goals, we then move on our way towards success. And success means something different to each of us.

  Mental training is actually a simple "thing". There are different ways to get strong in your head. This time we look at four points that help us to become strong. You can call them the four magic "C" when translated into English.


„C“ NR. 1:

Confidence/Vertrauen: Self-confidence and self-trust are qualities that you should cultivate! Believe in yourself, trust in all the resources and strengths you have to reach your goal. No one should lack self-confidence. Life is hectic, life is stressful and when it comes to ourselves we keep thinking: I don't have time! But if you can't find time for yourself, you're doing something wrong!


Knowing yourself and trusting yourself and your abilities is the solution to most problems when you are out of balance while training. By regularly observing your thoughts, you'll know what to think or do to make yourself feel better about almost anything. So get to know yourself! Take time for yourself, make an appointment with yourself for self-reflection and ask yourself questions like:


Where am I now?

What setbacks and failures have I had to put up with lately?

What did I learn from it?

What have I reached already?

What success could I already celebrate?

What strengths do I have?


Take time for yourself and think about it in 3 Steps:


Stepp 1: What went well during training? What daily efforts or strategies have helped me do better in my workouts? Be mindful of your actions. Why did something work and how can I use this in the future?


Stepp 2: Ask another question: What can I focus on for the next week? What 2-3 things can I improve? For example when it comes to controlling my emotions. The key to success is the HOW and not the WHY: So ask yourself e.g. B.: How can I turn negative thoughts into positive ones if I have mental problems during training?


Stepp 3: Schreib das, was du dir vorgenommen hast, auf! Wer seine Gedanken aufschreibt, ist schon ein Gewinner, weil sie sich dann gleich viel fester in unserem Unterbewussten einnisten!


„C“ NR. 2:

Challenge/Herausforderung: Learn from your experiences, see tasks as challenges! Setbacks also offer opportunities to learn from them. I analyze and learn from my experiences. A competition didn't go well? Analyze, ask questions about what went wrong. How can you avoid that next time? I focus on solutions, check off negative experiences and look forward to the next challenges. Every experience makes us richer, every challenge makes us stronger, whether we reach our goal or not. Challenges give us the opportunity to become better. Every one of us who is at the start of a competition wants to get better. You motivate yourself with challenges, especially if you actively seek them. Be open to change. If you need to adjust your training (e.g. because you have a busy job right now or family needs you), see it as your chance to come back stronger once you have more time to focus on your passion! Be open to opportunities - for example, if you are in another city or country for work and cannot walk but e.g. B. only swimming is possible. By the way, you can not only swim in the water, but also run. A change in training never hurts. And finally: Be open to new things! Every new experience is a challenge that can serve as a motivation for us - to improve, to change, to bring out the best in us and yes, maybe to discover new great qualities in ourselves. Of course, you can see this best at your appointment with self-reflection!


„C“ NR. 3

Commitment/Hingabe: Be determined and set goals: I set myself clearly defined goals for my sporting year. On the way there are small intermediate destinations. If you do not have a clear goal, it is difficult to get started. Commitment is the degree to which you are willing to set and stick to your goals, and a commitment to work hard to achieve them. And at the same time not losing determination: I will do everything to keep my promises and achieve my goals. I want to work hard for it. It is important to set realistic goals that you enjoy achieving. Without fun, passion and joy, it becomes difficult to achieve a goal. Everything you do, you should do for yourself. Those who feel commitment to their goal will also be able to develop concentration and the ability to establish habits. And that finally gets you to your goal.


„C“ NR. 4

Control/Kontrolle: Control and commitment are resilience part of the definition of mental toughness. The certainty of having influence and control over one's life: I have a deep conviction that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. With control you control your emotion management, take responsibility for your feelings and emotions and are less distracted by the emotions of others.


Become the master of your emotions! Emotions play a major role when it comes to being able to call up your optimal state on day X!


Emotional control in sport is a key trait for success. After all, our emotions have a powerful impact on our performance. It is important to be aware of when you have lost your mental and/or physical balance so that you can react accordingly. If the psychological as well as the emotional and mental area is in balance, you can react more flexibly and confidently to stressful situations. Therefore, learn to control your inner mechanisms and positively influence your attitude. You can do this with small affirmations (short, positive sentences without inclinations) like "I can do it", "Now it has to work". With control of your feelings you can also control the current state of mind such as mood and tiredness. Don't let your surroundings distract you. A good example of this is a rainy day. Most athletes complain all the time when the weather isn't right for a competition. Stay focused - you've certainly completed more than a few good training sessions even in bad weather. Today is your day regardless of the weather. Control your emotions, be yourself and keep the emotions of others (which tend to be negative in bad weather) outside of your "territory".


Do you have a "weak spot" in competitions that recurs over and over again (this could be nausea or like giving up after 15 miles or so)? Then work with these emotions in advance, take control of them and your body, let go of thoughts like "Not again!"! Instead, tell yourself with a smile, "This time I got you, not you got me." Be smart, control your thoughts because they have a powerful impact on how you feel!

  Each emotion has its own breathing pattern. Or to put it another way: Depending on the breathing pattern, we feel a different emotion. All I can say is, take control of your breath when things aren't going well. This will help you stay in control of your emotions. We are what we think. Our thoughts control our body. Only you have the control to direct your body.