Monday, 19 July 2010

I met Sheena Pickersgill today...

Sheena talked to me about a programme she is developing around the concept of mental toughness. There is a lot of work in sport to develop mental toughness which is having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to generally cope better than other people with the many demands that are placed on you. Specifically, these programmes help you to be more determined, focused, confident, resilient, and in control under pressure.

Research suggests that the key characteristics associated with mental toughness in the best athletes is around:
• Having a powerful self-belief:
• Having an unshakable belief in your ability to achieve your goals
• Having a set of unique qualities that make you better than your opponents.
• Having an insatiable desire to succeed whatever it takes.
• Having the ability to bounce back from setbacks.
• Having motivation, persistence, determination and commitment.
• Remaining totally focused on the task at hand.
• Being able to switch focus on and off as required.
• Not being adversely affected by others performance.
• Being able to regain control following unexpected events.
• Thriving on the pressure
• Accepting that anxiety is inevitable and knowing that you can cope with it.

This has been what Education Leeds has been about over the last ten years and again the keys to success are about managing your self-talk, using affirmations and visualisations and setting powerful but realistic goals which drive progress, outcomes and achievement. And just look at what we have achieved together!

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