US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States
Throughout history there are examples of Soldiers enduring intense combat, being tested in excruciating crucible events, and bearing continuous strain on their mind and body. Literature recounts instances in which the Soldier endured, but there are the lesser told stories of when they did not. Some people have an innate ability to endure strain, maintain focus, and sustain a tremendous effort while operating. Some, however, cannot do that on their own. Training mental skills directed towards sustaining effort during operations can prepare Soldiers for the scenarios indicated above, and enable a higher level of performance at the individual level thus improving overall teams in the Armys force. This thesis examined the following psychological aspects and training tools Mental Toughness, Confidence, Self-Talk, Reframing, Concentration and Attention Control Control Training, Training Concentration, and Mindfulness to define them. The author examined programs within the military and competitive sports to establish common themes and practices that utilize mental skills training, and determine which mental skills support sustaining effort.