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How to increase mental toughness: 4 secrets of Navy SEALs and Olympians
1. Talk positively to yourself
Your brain is always going. It’s estimated you say 300 to 1,000 words to yourself per minute. Olympic athletes and SEALs agree: those words need to be positive.
2. Setting goals
The best athletes had clear daily goals. They knew what they wanted to accomplish each day, each workout, each sequence or interval. They were determined to accomplish these goals and focused fully on doing so.
SEALs are taught to set goals too. Sometimes really small ones, but it’s enough to keep them going when every muscle in their body is screaming for them to quit.
3. Practice visualization
They used imagery to prepare themselves to get what they wanted out of training, to perfect skills within the training sessions, to make technical corrections, to imagine themselves being successful in competition, and to see themselves achieving their ultimate goal.
4. Use simulations
The best athletes made extensive use of simulation training. They approached training runs, routines, plays, or scrimmages in practice as if they were at the competition, often wearing what they would wear and preparing like they would prepare.
And SEALs didn’t just visualize either. Before the raid on Bin Laden’s compound they built full-size replicas of the location so their training would be tailored to what they would face.
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