Mental toughness

Critical reflections and future considerations

Authored by: Daniel F. Gucciardi , Sheldon Hanton

Routledge International Handbook of Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138022423
eBook ISBN: 9781315777054
Adobe ISBN: 9781317692324


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Mental toughness is a term used by professionals and lay people alike, particularly those individuals involved or interested in sport, to describe the psychological qualities of people who achieve outstanding performance. Although the meaning of mental toughness may seem clear at first glance, a closer examination of both everyday connotations and scientific conceptualizations reveals complexity to this concept. The purpose of this chapter is to critically evaluate the concept of mental toughness in sport, with a particular focus on its definition and conceptualization. 1 Specifically, we will briefly review what we perceive to be the different waves of scholarly work and consider why, after 15 years of scientific research, mental toughness is still not that well understood as a scholarly concept, and in so doing offer our expectations as to how research might progress in the coming years.

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