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Many believe that being good at sports stops at physical qualities and training. When building mental toughness, volleyball players and other athletes go through as much training as they do physically. After all, it takes nerves of steel to keep your cool in the most intense moments during the game.

Building mental toughness isn’t limited to athletes. Whether you want to treat anxiety or win at the best Canadian online casino, anyone can benefit from these techniques. Daniel Bennet is our guest post topic expert, and he’s willing to share with you how to reach this capacity for your benefit in your day-to-day life.

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Mental Strength/Discipline

When an athlete suffers a minor injury, they need the mental strength to handle and endure internal and external obstacles. Mental strength/toughness involves proper stress management, learning from your mistakes, and developing better communication skills. These are all required to stay in the winning mindset.

Mental training is like muscle strength training; over time, our mind becomes stronger. For volleyball players, this can mean breathing exercises, overcoming defeats and mistakes faster, or preventing distractions. Whatever your weakness, it’s a skill that can be learned and made stronger.

Imagery

Visualization is one of the most widely used mental toughness techniques in sports. Olympic athletes and other sports professionals use this technique as a powerful tool to give themselves an edge over their competition.

Think of it as practice for your mind; the more you condition your senses and rehearse your victory, the less anxious you’ll be when it comes time to compete. After all, practice makes perfect! When you have visualized your peak performance in detail, you’ll get the most out of your real-time practice, while adding to your focus and confidence.

Some brain training for volleyball requires visualization of skills. Imagery can be an internal process such as task mastery, or it can be an external process, like watching players’ movements during the game.

Attention/Concentration

Your level of focus can make or break your performance. Volleyball players must train to keep their head in the game and avoid both internal and external distractions, especially during highly stressful situations. Having attentional skill allows players to be present in the moment, a key factor for unwavering peak performance.

As for concentration in volleyball, players quickly need to direct their attention from one thing to another. Players with the best concentration skills are able to access the best possible positions and make the smartest moves, ahead of the rapidly developing situation.

Relaxation/Arousal Control

This comes as a surprise to many, but volleyball players must train to know the best times to relax and fire-up throughout a game. Being too worked up at the wrong time can cause bumping or setting the ball too hard. Being too relaxed can result in a missed serve.

Much of our nervous system, movement, and response times are correlated with our breathing patterns. Our relaxed and aroused states can be manipulated through exercises such as anxiety and stress management.

Self-Talk

While no one can say for sure, experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. The purpose of internal dialogue is to turn negative or repetitive thoughts into positive, confident ones. When you are at the height of your game, and you need peak performance, your self-talk ensures that you’re your own best friend.

A player’s self-talk can include affirmations of their strengths, and cue words that hype them up or manage their nerves. It can also include simple reminders of where their focus should be and what they need to overcome obstacles. Maintaining an internal dialogue is as important as external communication in volleyball games.

Conclusion

Competing in volleyball involves much more than knowing how to pass, set, hit, block, serve, and dig. Pro players also train to perform under pressure. Mental toughness is the foundation of the winner’s mindset, and can determine the outcome of a game before you even set foot on the court.