Coaching Mental Toughness

Coaching Mental Toughness

Coaches know that talent gets a team only so far. Once teams get to a certain level, every team has talent. But championship teams have intangibles that set them apart from all the rest.

One of those intangibles is mental toughness.


Last week, Lady Lion head coach Coquese Washington spoke to an Army ROTC leadership class. One student asked how she coaches mental toughness. Check out these helpful nuggets:


  • Remove emotion: teach players to remove their emotion (anger, frustration) and the emotion in the words spoken to them by coaches or teammates.
  • Focus on information: Rather than mulling over the emotions, teach them to focus on the information. If they missed a shot, what information can help them (is their elbow out; did they not follow through?).
  • Focus on execution and technique: In adverse situations (when they’re tired, not scoring, etc.) each them to say what they’re doing next (i.e. on defense they’re saying “help, help, help” or “ball, ball, ball”.

What tips do you have on coaching mental toughness? Please share!