The 11 Mental Skills That Make an Athlete Elite

It lists 11 “mental performance competencies” divided into three categories, which all contribute to maximizing athletic performance and maintaining mental health. 

 It’s by no means the first attempt to sum up the psychological ingredients of peak performance, but the field continues to evolve:

the GMP-SP is the first to incorporate mental health as an explicit goal, and it includes traits such as resilience that have gotten lots of research attention in recent years.

Without further ado, here’s the graphical version of the GMP-SP, showing the three categories and 11 competencies along with plenty of arrows and deep geometric symbolism:

Motivation: The importance of motivation is fairly obvious, and indeed studies like this one have found that, for example, among fencers and long-distance runners

Confidence: I can’t help thinking of Eliud Kipchoge’s response when he was asked how he would approach the “impossible” task of running a sub-two-hour marathon:

Resilience: Let’s pick another Kipchoge example, since he’s the current paradigm of a mentally strong athlete: in the 2015 Berlin Marathon, the insoles of his shoes started sliding out before he hit the halfway mark of the race. 

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