Mental Fitness/Preparation


What is Mental Toughness and How to Develop It?

Just as the body is strengthened for physical challenges, preparing the mind for the obstacles, frustrations, and challenges of the fire environment enhances overall performance. Your workout routine is a great place to begin to challenge your mental toughness. As Dr. Jim Loehr, sport psychologist explains, “There are four key elements to “toughness:” strength, flexibility, responsiveness, and resilience. Each component has a mental, physical, and emotional aspect to it – it’s not just mental toughness.” Mental Strength - you have strong concentration skills. You are physically strong. You can resist buckling under great emotional pressure. Mental Flexibility – the more rigid you are (inflexible), the easier it is to be thrown off by your opponent. The more physically flexible you are, the better you are physiologically to compete. Toughness does not mean being hard or mean. Basketball great Michael Jordan is an example of a responsive athlete. Michael is alive and spirited. Responsiveness is a sign of healthy competitiveness. Resilience refers to speed of recovery – mentally, emotionally, and physically. Great competitors have a great capacity to handle failure with grace. They are able to bounce back from disappointments or mistakes and keep competing.”

Mental toughness/fitness also means having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to, generally cope better than your opponents with the many demands that are placed with you as a performer and to be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, resilient, and in control while under pressure. A key component to mental toughness/fitness is learning how to condition your mind to think confidently and be able to overcome frustration and self-critical negativity.


button What is Fitness
button Getting Started
button Essential Components
button Aerobic Fitness
button Muscle Strength
button Core Training
button Flexibility
button Common Injuries
button Mental Fitness/ Preparation
button Firefighter Nutrition
button Wildland Fitness Assessment Battery
button Home Grown Fitness
button Q & A
button Resources
button Appendices
button BLM Fire and Aviation Fitness Challenge
button FireFit Task Group