It's definitely not easy, but it's fun each year to try to build a team that has that type of mental capacity. If it is achieved, it can go a long way to success at the end of a season.
Sue Phillips, head coach, Archbishop Mitty High School (Calif.):
We believe that mental toughness is the ability to focus through fatigue or adversity. At every practice, we incorporate activities and/or challenges that foster mental toughness.
Conditioning benchmarks, drills with standards of excellence and comfort with chaos are some of the ways in which we build mentally tough players.
A timed mile is a conditioning benchmark that forces each player to “gut check” before he/she crosses the finish line. We set individual goal times based on position, ability, and stature.
Yes, a timed mile is a different energy system generally required for basketball players, but we believe in the positive tradeoff of developing mental toughness.