The NCAA Men’s National Championship: Does Mental Toughness Really Play a Role?

Monday, April 8th, 2019

NCAA Championship Mindset – Who get’s the one shining moment?

Punching their tickets to the Final Four Championship game, Virginia and Texas Tech have battled seven rounds to stand centre court at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis Monday night.

Each earning their first trip to the final four, Virginia and Texas Tech have more than strong physical game. Getting through the best 68 teams in the nation requires a highly practiced mental process.

Virginia’s disappointing first round exit last year to final moments of this year’s semi-final win vs. Auburn is resiliency in action.  The Cavaliers are proving that the power of a practiced mental game is giving them the edge in a tournament of the nations best.

Big 12 Champions, Texas Tech have mindset as solid as their ‘swarm defence’. Staying composed under the pressure of Tom Izzo’s Michigan State in their semi-final win over the Spartans,  Texas Tech’s players and coaches stay focused in the moment.

“Just what we do everyday.… Our toughness, our grit to fight every 40 minutes, every possession.” – Odiase, Forward Texas Tech

Mentally tough individuals are motivated by things they can control.  This means that they trust a “process” in which they go out and practice and compete.  The process includes the coach, individual, and team.  Players keep their efforts within the process so they can adjust, they can keep pressure situations simple, and they can play with unwavering intensity because they trust and have trained in this process.

Monday night’s game is sure to provide one thing: an unwavering intensity on both sides of the ball.

Regardless of talent or how beat up their bodies are after grinding through March Madness, mental toughness will determine who gets the final ‘one shining moment’.

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