The Power of Elite Mental Skills in Sports: Article Series

Breaking down the 11 Mental Skills Elite Athletes Possess

Elite athletes possess unique physical talents that set them apart from the rest, but their success isn't solely attributed to talent.

It's the combination of their talent (innate abilities) and an unwavering passion for relentless practice and self-improvement that propels them to excel beyond their peers and reach the pinnacle of their sport.

What's truly intriguing is their unyielding dedication, even in the face of adversity. How do they consistently muster the strength to persevere, no matter how challenging a training session or competition may become? Sport psychology and mental skills is the answer.

How Did We Determine These Traits?

In 2019 six sports psychologists in Canada reviewed all current sports psychology research and developed “The Gold Medal Profile for Sport Psychology” and published it in The Journal of Applied Sports Psychology.

The results of their research determined 11 Mental Skills that all elite athletes possess, broken down into three categories:

  • Gold - Fundamental skills

  • Silver - Self-Regulation Skills

  • Bronze - Interpersonal Skills

11 Mental Skills of an Elite Athlete

Reference: Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

Why is this important?

Using these 11 mental skills will:

  • Help you stay motivated, even on the days you are not feeling it.

  • Help you stay dedicated, even when things are not going your way (aka deal with adversity and build resilience).

  • Help you push through and carry on no matter how tough a practice or training session is.

  • Enhance your performance.

  • Build and maintain confidence.

The Path Ahead

In this article series, we will break down each of the 11 mental skills into smaller more tangible and digestible tidbits over the next four weeks.

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