Hierarchy of Mental Toughness

hierarchy of mental toughness

Here are the essential key skills of mental toughness needed for success. The synonyms inside of the pyramid are words all used to describe the core component of the mental skill.

It’s a hierarchy of mental toughness because we need to have one skill in order to progress to another. These levels are not static either, they can fluctuate often!

The basis of all mental health and strength is Motivation. It cannot come from outside, it must come within, because it’s tough to be driven, when you’re being driven. Without the proper internal motivation and “why”, then long-term development and success just cannot sustain. 

Confidence is next. Every single athlete tells me that confidence is the most important mental skill, and I agree with them. So, why would confidence be at the very top? The reasoning is that confidence is not an all or nothing concept. Either I have it OR I don’t. It is a matter of “how much” confidence do I have? In order for us to try anything in life, there has to be some belief that we can do it, or else we wouldn’t ever try. That’s why it’s a hierarchy of mental toughness. 

Focus is the mental skill that we work on most with athletes. Besides, every one of us is an athlete.  Focus directly impacts confidence and it’s not a matter of if we focus, it’s what we focus on, and how we focus! 

Here’s why the hierarchy of mental toughness is just like chess! 

The most difficult mental skill is re-focus! It’s the most difficult because, at many points in life, it’s the most important.

When were we really taught HOW to let go of mistakes and move on? Nowadays, there are more perfectionist athletes than ever before. This creates athletes that struggle with making mistakes and as a result, they don’t go for it and they play it “safe.” 

dr rob bell

Dr. Rob Bell is a Mental Toughness Coach. His company DRB & Associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Indy Eleven, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness-