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The 7 C’s of Mental Toughness

Introducing the 7 C’S of mental toughness:

I have been reading this excellent book, MIND GYM: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence by the late Gary Mack and I have benefited from it big time. The principles are easy to understand and the application to daily life is priceless. You don’t have to be an athlete to get good value out of it. I have decided to read through it over and over again and discuss with my readers select chapters that I think would benefit everybody’s mental game with emphasis on boxing and training principles.

1. Competitive

Competition is a great motivation. Your goal here is to surpass yourself. In the context of fight preparation, the fighter is entitled to think about the opponent the whole time. The entourage dissects every move that the opponent does for the actual event. Competition brings out the best in people and toughens somebody’s mind up.

2. Confident

Confidence is a product of hard work. It has been said that preparation brings confidence in somebody— the power to have one’s best performance. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. The athlete who wants it more usually wins. Training hard is a prerequisite to success.

3. Control

In the big night, a fighter usually encounters challenging situations and great pressure. It is the fighters’ job to stick to the game plan. You have to play your game. Do not let the opponent dictate the tempo of the match. “The way you train is the way you fight, and the way you fight is the way you train”. Give out your best —capitalize on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.

4. Committed

If you have goals and dreams, you have to want it badly! You have to TAKE IT! Click To TweetCommitment is very important. Dedication in training usually separates the men from the boys. The results are usually good if you focus on achieving whatever your goals are. When you feel lazy to come train, just think about your goals and realize how sitting around will not take you there.

5. Composure


“How one manages his emotions can determine whether they win or lose”. I have clients who get mad at themselves whenever they do a wrong combination or if they open up their guard in mitt work and situational partner play sparring. The best way to deal with mistakes is to keep ones cool and focus on getting the combination right. “Keep your head cool, when the fire is on”.

6. Courage

Sometimes, you have to throw things over the window and all you’ll see is courage. HEART is the most overrated term in sports but indeed, the person with the bigger heart usually wins. Fight to the finish and never ever give up. No matter how difficult the drills are in training, just do it. According to Vince Lombardi, the harder you work, the harder it is to surrender. So work hard and give your all!

7. Consistency

The above c’s of mental toughness will just go down the drain if you don’t follow through. One should be consistent on hard work and perseverance. A boxer should never be complacent with his training. He should treat every fight as if it was his last. In boxing, we have the “lucky punch”. Never put your “guard down” and simply sweat it out in the gym!

by Lawrence Ragos

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