Mental Toughness, Boot Camps, Navy Seal Training and Other Nonsense

bootcampI have said many times in this blog that mental toughness is in many ways is a myth. In my experience as a coach and athlete the athletes who produce in the competition are the ones who are there everyday physically and mentally in training doing what they are supposed to do with concentration, intensity and effort. They are focused and make each drill and each rep count. So called boot camp workouts made up of mindless repetitions of drills designed to make the athlete tired do exactly that, they make the athlete tired. But training without a purpose will not make an athlete better or mentally tough. What you find that the athletes do in those workouts is that they tune out; they do what they have to do to get through the workout. That is not what you want them to do in competition, you want them to do more than get through it, you want them to excel. As far as Navy Seal training I have the utmost respect for the Navy Seals and their mission, but their mission is to fight and kill if necessary. Sport is not a life or death proposition. What they do has little or no transfer to athletic competition so to imitate or adopt their training is fallacious. I understand that training at times must be hard and sometimes harder than what the athlete will face in competition, but everything has a place and a purpose in a well-designed training program. I want training to be a mindful experience that grows adaptable athletes who are ready to thrive in the competitive arena. Getting tired is easy training is difficult.

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