There are five important mental qualities every athlete should have to be successful both on the mat and in competition.

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1. Persistence

The ability to always move forward even in the face of setbacks.  Things don’t always go your way and it’s important to know how to move on and use the setbacks as learning experiences.

2. Positive Realism

It is impossible to be positive all the time, that’s just not how we work.  Positive realism is taking a negative situation, and making the most of it, but also being realistic.  This could even apply to not listening to the negative feedback your body is giving you when it is injured.  It may feel like a negative at first, but if it avoids further injury and you can jump back into training faster it’s a positive in the end.

3. Humility

In order to keep improving it is important to have a humble attitude, and be hungry to learn.  You must be confident, but realistic of your strengths and weaknesses and where you need to improve.  Humility is part of that internal fire an athlete must have to grow as a competitor.

4. Vulnerability

This may not always be a quality associated with mental toughness, but it is still important.  An athlete who has this quality is open about the wins, and loses.  They are able to take tough losses and learn from them in a constructive way.  This may entail being open to training in a different way or seeking help to bring the best out of yourself.

5. Lack of Regrets

One of the worst feelings next to loosing, is loosing and not feeling like you gave your absolute best.  Don’t get to the tournament and regret the amount you trained to prepare, and lack confidence to go for it, and give it your all.  Show up knowing you trained your heart out.

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