Mental Intensity and Effort

Posted on October 23, 2012 by


It is the most common thing people say to me in sports and in school, “come on, all it takes is a little more mental intensity or effort”. I spend seventy five percent or more of my day or more doing these two activities. I go to school from eight in the morning till three in the afternoon and then I have soccer from three thirty to five fifteen. I have done both since I was able to talk and yet I find myself obstructed in so many ways.

With soccer I have my skill level and physical limitations as two of the three most im biggest obstacles in my way. Soccer is my favorite sport and I have played it since I was four, yet still I am and never will be the best soccer player in the world, nor will I ever be the fastest or strongest. I have come to terms with these and though these might seem like the most pressing the final aspect of the game is also what I see as the most difficult to master. The mental intensity needed for every game and practice to do what is necessary and push through the pain and succeed.

“Something deep in my character allows me to take the hits and get on with trying to win.”
-Lionel Messi

People are told again and again, by coaches parents and teammates to just work harder, just try harder. I believe that there is a point where a person who might be far inferior in skill can surpass a gifted athlete if that less skilled player works harder. I am told the same things and I realize how hard it is and I only hope that I can push myself as hard as I can, not only for my benefit but for the benefit of my teammates.

This same idea of mental effort is present in school work as well, I see it presented in mainly two different ways. Firstly are the many distraction we face everyday that get in the way of studying and in the long run learning. I see the many distraction on the internet and in the physical world as things that test, in rather small ways granted, the mental toughness of individuals. Putting aside what you want to do and pushing through what needs to be done, is a lesson that can be taken from this and put to almost everything in life. Secondly there is the task of engaging in the material at hand. It is so easy to check out and not worry about trying to challenge yourself and learn as best as you can. It takes a great deal of mental discipline to challenge yourself with something hard and most likely not fun, when there is the option of an easier path beside it.

The idea of mental intensity is thrown around a lot and can be seen as corny, but I believe that it is crucial to having a successful life. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
-Tim Notke



“Lionel Messi quotes.” More than 1.4 million Famous Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <>.

Hill, Napoleon. “Success Quotes.” Act On Your Dream!. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <>.


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