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Rugby Tip of the Month – Top 3 Questions for Mental Skill Development

Written by Katie Wurst, First 15 Sport Performance


Are you coachable?

This is often a topic discussed within selection meetings and recruitment visits, but what does it actually mean to be coachable? Coachable individuals possess a high performance mindset associated with relentless interest in learning from setbacks, criticism, and even success of their competitors. They embrace obstacles as enjoyable challenges, and use feedback from others to fuel their desire to improve.

Less coachable individuals see these efforts as something they shouldn’t have to do if they have enough talent. Adjusting your mindset to reflect a commitment to personal growth is more likely to enhance motivation, whether you are trying to set a personal best in a fitness test or ace an upcoming exam.

Do you express confidence?

Even the most coachable student-athletes experience moments of self-doubt. Those who are best able to manage their emotions, even when facing challenging circumstances, understand that confidence is directly linked to quality preparation and productive self-talk. Asking yourself if you would talk to a close friend the way you talk to yourself is a useful technique to examine the quality of your internal thought processes. Confidence is built on a foundation of trusting in the hard work and effort applied in training, and visualizing success on a routine basis.

Where is your attention focused?

High performing student-athletes are able to focus on the right cues at critical moments. There are plenty of myths about multi-tasking, but in reality, the brain is actually designed to focus deeply on one task at a time. Spend fifteen minutes on any college campus watching students walk to class, while simultaneously sending text messages, to see this performance decline in action. Top performers utilize cues to appropriately shift attention to meet the needs of situations ranging from reading a complex defense, to outlining a study session.

Each of these questions helps identify how mental skill development assists in producing positive outcomes in class and on the playing field. For further information on mental skills training options, visit First15 Sport Performance at and enjoy the student-athlete experience!


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