Monday, June 18, 2012

Nick Saban on Mental Toughness

-“Mental toughness is a perserverance that you have when you can make yourself do something that you really don’t feel like doing. You don’t really feel like getting up, but you get up. You don’t feel like practicing today, but you practice. And, even in difficult circumstances and difficult surroundings, you can stay focused on what you need to stay focused on. So it really is a mental discipline to be able to stick within whatever circumstance you are in and continue to persevere at a high level and not let other circumstance affect how you perform.”
-“You make a choice in playing a play as hard as you can or not. It’s a choice- are you going to run 10 yards as fast as you can or not?”
-“I will not allow my players to put their hand on their knees or show in their faces they are tired going into the fourth quarter. If they do, they are going to get their butts whipped. If they do that, they are showing the other team they can be beat.”
-“There’s not one person in this room who feels like doing what we do EVERY SINGLE DAY he wakes up. It’s just not possible, we demand excellence and that’s hard and there will be days you wake up and you don’t feel like doing it. It’s important that you make yourself do it because it’s the path to getting what you want.”
With the help of motivational speaker Kevin Elko, Saban charged the Alabama players with task of putting together a team affirmation—a positive assertion repeated by players to keep them focused on all the small things needed to achieve the long-term goal of a national title.
 TEAM: 100% effort and accountability
 OFFENSE: Be capable of an explosive play on any given snap
 DEFENSE: Never give up an inch
-“The mental toughness training was geared toward showing players that their minds were as important to football success as their bodies.”
-“We often stated to them [Alabama football players] that you could place two athletes side by side at the pro level and the only difference between them is how they think.” –Alabama staffer
-“To wear a player down, everybody wants to play hard in the beginning of the game, it takes a long time to wear a player down, so you have to have a tremendous amount of mental toughness to be able to do that, to sustain it yourself.”
-“The difference between my first 2 Alabama teams wasn’t talent or ability, but the psychological disposition in terms of confidence and believing in themselves—knowing they could do it and FINISH it. There was an expectation that second year that if we did things a certain way, we could beat anyone in the country.”

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