Elite Versus Ordinary
Last updated :  | By Tracy Alston

Elite Versus Ordinary. The Mental Edge Effect

Have you ever wondered what divides elite athletes or competitors from the ordinary ones? Some of the greatest events in sports have happened when the underdog competitor rises to the top against all odds. Maybe they were ruled out because another athlete had better stats. But they kept trying and their hard work and resiliency paid off in the end.

What Separates the Elite from the Ordinary?

What does this come down to? What makes some competitors able to succeed and others crumble under the pressure? Sports science shows that when elite players are compared to ordinary ones, the difference in their mental performance is what’s most dramatic. Performance is about 90% mental and just 10% physical. Research also shows that the most successful athletes think better under stress. So how can you expect to succeed when your brain is out of shape?

The majority of your wins and losses in life won’t come down to your physical fitness. As a former student-athlete at Wake Forest University, I witnessed this with my team firsthand. We were very physically talented and athletic. But even in sports, the real test is mental, not physical. It’s all about your mindset and mental fitness. Mental blocks and mistakes will yield different outcomes. This is true not just in sports but in academics, business, and your relationships. 

What is Mental Fitness?

Mental fitness is what keeps you going even when you get knocked down. It’s what keeps you hopeful and motivated even after someone tells you you’ll never amount to anything. Sometimes it’s exactly those obstacles that serve as motivation for people to become great advocates and leaders in their communities.

How Do You Become More Mentally Fit?

So, you know mental fitness is what matters. How are you training your mind? What are you listening to? Who do you have in your close circle of friends? Are they all negative and undermotivated—or are they people who encourage you to do better in all areas of your life? Physical fitness and training take time and effort. You need to be conscious about the decisions you’re making that might be positively or negatively affecting your brain.

One way to improve your mental performance is to emulate the mental performance of others. Think about the top athletes you admire. Instead of researching their physical fitness regimes, find out what they do to stay mentally fit. What are they eating? What kinds of books do they read? What activities do they participate in to improve their mental fitness? Dig deeper and truly study their minds as best you can.

Now it’s your turn to go from ordinary to elite. Share your research on mentally fit individuals. Mentally fit people aren’t just celebrities. They’re “regular” people like you and me. Think about the people in your community. What is their mindset? Are they happy? What makes them mentally fit to succeed? It’s time to open up the conversation about mental fitness! Share your findings comment section below. 

About Tracy Alston

Tracy Alston is a licensed professional counselor, a mental fitness consultant and board certified in Biofeedback and neurofeedback. Tracy is the Founder and CEO of two companies located in Mooresville, N.C., New Mentality, P.C. and Mental Edge Fitness Solutions, Inc. Tracy’s passion is creating strategies and solutions for improving mental health and mental fitness.

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