Can You Teach Mental Toughness? Yes!

By Sponsored Content | September 6, 2023

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What is mental toughness? After years of coaching mental toughness, Elite Minds CEO Robert W.H. Price will sometimes still find himself addressing this most basic question. 

More importantly, can mental toughness be taught? Of course it can if the right person is teaching it.

While working with high performing athletes for more than 20 years, Price has discovered most of the information available on mental toughness is a mess that would barely break the surface. It’s not scientific, not empirical and not results-driven!

But Price emphatically believes mental toughness can be taught and developed the Mental Playbook to accomplish that goal. And now he has the data to support his system.

“To be honest, you really have to train for mental toughness because the mental game can make or break you,” said Price, who received training in Mindfulness Meditation at the University of Miami under Dr. Amishi Jha and achieved a Level III Master Resilience Trainer certification from the University of Pennsylvania. “Mental toughness can push you over the edge to victory or it can beat you before you begin. It can be the surprise gut punch of stress and self-sabotage or it can be the beast you ride into every battle.”

Price, who is also a certified therapist using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) certified by EMDRIA and a licensed clinical professional counselor in the state of Maryland and Georgia, has worked with hundreds of athletes in a diverse variety of sports to set goals, problem solve and create lifelong success strategies. Most importantly, he has determined maybe the most mission-critical task for training mental toughness is finding out what it is.

“It seems like a simple question, but ask anyone what mental toughness is, and see how many “uhs” and “ums” it takes before a halfway coherent answer emerges,” Price said. “If we’re going to approach mental toughness training as a science, we need to know exactly what we’re going for. We need a definition that’s precise, scientific, and operational rather than just a loose collection of abstract qualities.”

We all know confidence when we see it (or think we do anyway), but a person can’t be taken into a lab and measured for confidence. So many mindset-related qualities are called “intangibles,” and it’s difficult to know if someone really has them or if they only have them sometimes. 

That’s where Price and Elite Minds can help. Because while some people throw up their hands and say that mental toughness can’t be trained, Price’s approach is designed to maximize potential through mental performance coaching.

“There are still myths about training mental toughness,” Price said. “You can 100% build mental toughness, but there are two wrong schools of thought – do nothing and think they’ll figure it out or do everything and don’t allow them to figure it out. The answer is somewhere in between.”

Price’s approach begins with the principle that people are most effective when they use their strengths and to improve themselves and those around them. The question becomes how to develop a system to understand the qualities, talents and strengths that allow people to reach optimal performance levels.

That’s the role that Price has worked for PGA Tour golfers, football players who have reached the NFL, Team USA Shooters and a wide range of athletes that includes collegiate and professional kickers, amateur tennis players, golfers of all levels, basketball players, gymnasts, hockey players, lacrosse players, soccer players, ice skaters, field hockey players and track and field athletes. 

“After skill acquisition, it’s time to train for mental toughness,” said Price, who played football at the University of Pittsburgh and holds Masters degrees from both the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University. “When you have the skill, you start to layer in mental performance coaching to marry the physical with the mental.” 

An example Price stated is when an athlete is in the skill acquisition stage, that needs to be the majority of the focus but oftentimes that's where athletes and coaches stop.  They think the athlete will gain the mental skills by playing, but this is when the mental skills that include building confidence, managing energy, motivation, goal setting and visualization need to be layered in. 

This is different for each sport and athlete. but it is critical to the development of the elite athlete. Working with Elite Minds using the Mental Playbook yields results that are undeniable when the athlete is ready to become elite!

Visit the Elite Minds website to learn more about Elite Minds LLC and Robert Price or schedule a consultation.


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The "Coach" Karl DeMasi has been teaching and coaching for the past 35 years on all levels of academia and athletics. One of his hobbies has been writing, announcing and talking about sports. DeMasi has been involved in the Savannah Area sports scene since 1995, and he created the high school magazine "The Prep Sports Report" in 2000. In 2010, the "Coach" started broadcasting The Karl DeMasi Sports Report. He's still going strong, broadcasting on Facebook live and Twitter live every Saturday morning. You gotta love it!

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