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Athletes are confronted with a variety of stressors, challenges, and adversities, external (e.g., hostile crowds, referee errors, challenged by an opponent, sport and life balance) and internal (e.g., fatigue, self-doubt, emotional instability), which are characteristic of the training and competition contexts of sport. Some athletes manage these demands or challenges positively, either having a smooth progression through the performance cycle or successfully negotiating these challenges in constructive ways. However, for other athletes, such demands or challenges can overwhelm their coping resources, creating major distress and negatively influencing their performance and goal attainment. What accounts for these individual differences in athletes' ability to manage both negatively (e.g., injury, deselection) and positively (e.g., winning streak, taking the lead in a match) construed challenges and demands? Most scholars, practitioners, and the general public suggest that the answer lies in an athlete's mental toughness.
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