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Category Archives: Mental Conditioning

Why Elite Athletes Are Getting Serious About Mental Coaching

When his athletes describe the ways that stress has impacted their performance, clinical psychologist Justin Ross likes to tell them: “Welcome to having a mind.” Ross specializes in mental performance coaching, a growing discipline aimed at helping athletes strengthen their competitive minds just like their bodies. “This stuff is pervasive,” Ross says, from the amateur […]

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Why You Should Make Meditation a Long-Term Habit

This story was first published by Yoga Journal.  In eight weeks, you may be able to nail a challenging yoga pose, start marathon training, or become a regular at a new fitness studio. But changing your brain structure through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)? New research says that’s not likely. In the most comprehensive study published on the program to […]

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How to Weaponize Your Inner Monologue

That monologue running inside your head—you know, the one that can unfurl at a rate exceeding several thousand words per minute—has been having a moment of late. It’s the topic of numerous sports-psychology studies and the star of the 2021 bestseller Chatter, by University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross. Taking control of one’s inner voice […]

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How to Flip the Script to Take Control of Stressful Situations

It was the night before the NCAA regional cross-country championships, and the team I coach was about to face off against the best runners in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The women’s team came in with its best ranking in over a decade, led by a strong trio of runners who were on the cusp of achieving […]

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The 11 Mental Skills That Make an Athlete Elite

Earlier this year, I wrote about a Swiss study that suggested (with apologies to Yogi Berra) that cycling up a mountain is 77 percent physical and 23 percent mental. There are plenty of reasons to take those particular numbers with a big grain of salt, but one in particular stuck out to me: there’s no […]

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One Woman’s Wholesome Mission to Get Naked Outside

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. —Genesis 3:25 My boyfriend, Dan, has a childhood memory that’s as vivid and warm as the day it was formed. He is four years old, running on Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, naked. As he runs he holds a plastic grocery bag above […]

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How Can I Overcome Nervousness to Pursue New Outdoor Passions?

Welcome to Tough Love. We’re answering your questions about dating, breakups, and everything in between. Our advice giver is Blair Braverman, dogsled racer and author of Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube. Have a question of your own? Write to us at toughlove@outsideinc.com. I consider myself athletic, but I didn’t grow up being particularly adventurous. Now […]

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