Mental Toughness

Mental Toughness

Research examining the importance of mental toughness across a broad range of contexts including sport, exercise, health and education. The focus is on both theoretical understanding and application of knowledge to enable people to learn how to cope with setbacks and adversity.  

What are we Doing?

We are investigating the role of mental toughness, primarily (but not exclusively) in sport and exercise settings.  Our research aims to provide an understanding of how and why mentally tough individuals are able to withstand pressure and adversity, and to develop models and interventions to enhance mental toughness.


Why is it important?

The ability to effectively deal with stress is important in regards to achieving optimal performance across a range of disciplines but it’s equally important in relation to psychological health.  Mental toughness is a vital resistance resource that can help buffer the potential negative effects of stress and has been shown to be related to effective coping and psychological wellbeing in various different domains (e.g., sport, exercise, education, business). At a time when the importance of mental health is becoming increasingly recognised, it is vital to understand how mental toughness can help people to fulfil potential and remain healthy when faced with the challenges of modern life.


How are we different?

By using a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, MTOUGH researchers have been studying elite athletes to understand how the components of mental toughness enable optimal functioning in high pressured situations. Using a positive psychological approach the team are focused upon understanding the mechanisms that underlie mental toughness and developing interventions to enable others to deal with challenges more effectively. Our approach is about developing personal resources that are useful across the spectrum of life domains.  


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Academic Staff

Dr Lee Crust 

Senior Lecturer

Dr Alkisti Olympiou

Senior Lecturer

Dr Christian Swann


Research PGs 


Miss Patricia Jackman 

PhD Student

Elizabeth Stamp

PhD Student
Mrs Catherine Thomas Head of School
Mental Toughness Research Group Mental Toughness Research Group
School of Sport and Exercise Science, College of Social Science, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. LN6 7TS