The documentary stood out to me because it focused on the psychological aspects of the making of a Navy Seal. It became even more interesting to me when it compared what Navy Seals and Olympic athletes have in comon, i.e., Mission focus.
In the video Jansing tells us that, "For Seals, mental toughness is the number one indicator of sucess." That's what achieving our goals is all about. Isn't maintaining our focus on the job at hand the way to become a good student, parent, educator, athlete, writer, doctor, engineer, teacher, and even a Navy Seal or an Olympic athlete? Whatever goal we set for ourselves will require mental toughness on our part so we keep going when the going gets tough.
Research is backing up the idea that mental toughness is key in achieving goals. "The Navy has been doing cutting edge research on mental toughness," Jansingcontinues, "developing a written test that helps weed out candidates who aren't likely to make it thru training."
Cmdr. Eric Potterat, Naval Special Warfare Psychologist adds, "For the first time, to my knowledge, we're able to predict, from the neck up some of the science of mental toughness...Panic, fear, doubt, the minute we teach our candidates to be able to control that, their confidence goes up because they don't have the same fear response that you or I might have"
That's the key, isn't it? How many books have you read that told you the same thing? Whether it be, Hug the Monster, As a Man Thinketh, Unstopable, Dare to Win, An Enemy Called Average, or Unstoppable Women, to name just a few, the advice is the same: Do not let the molehills in your life become mountains. Bring the obstacles you're facing down to size and you'll see that you are, indeed, able to deal with them. You can work through whatever is keeping you from achieving your stated goals.
I enjoyed seeing how the research and experience that the Navy has garnered in this field is being shared with Olympic athletes. Jansingasks, "how does a Seal on a mission, how does an Olympian in a gold medal moment, make years of training come together when it counts most?" We each have our "goal medal moments" where it's up to us to stay the course or throw in the towel. It makes sense that our individual mental toughness can be a key determining factor of our success at such times.
I agree with what a US Olympic psychologist says in the video. He thinks that, "there are things that are similar in terms of how we have to be primed and ready for an elite performance opportunity." Long before the opportunity comes for us to perform at our best, we need to be ready for it.
The video shows us members of the Olympic Water Polo team going through mock drills under the Navy Seals' supervision at the Seals' base in Coronado, CA. Terry Schroeder, USA Water Polo, shares why they came, "So often the difference between winning and loosing is just a fraction. And so we were looking for whatever little piece we could grab."
Wrapping up the segment, Jansingsays that, "On the playing field and the battlefield, using mental toughness to come out on the winning side, both Seal instructors and Olympic coaches told me that what they all have in common is mission focus."
Mission Focus. Now there's a thought worth grabbing hold of, isn't it? What is it you want to become? What do you want to accomplish? How are you focusing on your goal, your mission? Take a hint from the Navy Seals and Olympic athletes and work hard at maintaining your mission focus.