What is Mental Strength?
Every one knows that when you get to top level athletics, the difference between winning and losing is a matter of only fractions of a second, one single rep, .5 more kilos lifted. Would you like to know what the top athletes are doing to gain that extra kilo, that additional rep, and that fraction of a second?
It's not the reps they're putting in at the gym. It's the work that's going on between their ears.
The difference between winning and losing is often decided by an athlete’s mental strength. This goes beyond their ability to push themselves harder on competition day; it is how they react to bad training days, their willingness to take risks, the way they take constructive criticism and feedback, and their ability to mentally and emotionally bounce back from failure.
Think the importance of mental strength is limited to the top athletes? Think again! This is just as true for elite CrossFit Games Athletes as it is for you and me. However, our mental strength might not be evidenced in beating our opponent by a fraction of a second, but in the way we keep trying when the barbell defeats us, when we keep laughing even though we're getting frustrated by a progression, or when we drag our asses to the gym when work gets stressful or when our friends are at the pub.
If your Mental Strength is akin to your 1 RM back squat, then (in this little analogy), your Mindset is the accessory work – the lunges, split squats, midline work and pause back squats – you do throughout the week to PB your 1RM back squat. Your mental strength is developed and improved upon (or weakened!) by the quality of your mindset.