What are psychological skills?
Psychological skills, or mental skills are tools for the mind. This includes skills like positive self-talk, enhancing confidence, goal setting, and achieving the most productive mindset, among many other skills. Improving your psychological skills can enhance academic performance and your overall well-being.
These skills can be discussed with a metaphor. Imagine you are an iceberg. The top 10% of the iceberg is above water. This represents what people see when they look at you as a student. They see your study habits, grades, and your success. However, 90% of the iceberg is below water. This represents your inner character – what drives that other 10%. Psychological skills make up a large part of the 90%.
The psychological skills section is dedicated to helping you learn about and enhance your mental skills. Just like an athlete learns and perfects a physical skill, psychological skills can be taught and improved with practice! Building up your mental skills provides you with a strong foundation for achieving your academic potential.
In his book Mental Toughness Training for Sports: Achieving Athletic Excellence (1986) James Loehr characterizes individuals that are mentally fit as:
- Self-motivated & self-directed
- Positive but realistic
- Calm & relaxed under fire
- Highly energetic and ready for action
- Mentally alert & focused
- Fully responsible
Mental fitness is not only important for athletes – its important for students too. All of the characteristics Loehr described will help you become more successful in your academic and career pursuits.
Where’s the Research?
Take a look at the literature on mental skills in the classroom.