What Is New? Developments in Mental Toughness Research and Practice

What Is New? Developments in Mental Toughness Research and Practice

Doug Strycharczyk and Dr John Perry

Doug Strycharczyk is viewed as a rock star in the Mental Toughness world.  He has pioneered the application of the mental toughness to a wide variety of sectors.   He’s seen as one of the leading authorities worldwide on the application of the 4Cs Mental Toughness model, Doug works in the Occupational, Educational, Social Work, Sports and Health settings in more than 80 countries.  

He’s the CEO for AQR International and an experienced author who has contributed to a number of books that look at developing mental toughness and resilience with individuals and at an organisational level, with youngsters through to leaders. The development of psychometric tests are also a feature of Doug’s work.

Doug Strycharczyk Books: Developing Mental Toughness, Developing Employability and Enterprise, Developing Resilient Organisations, Developing Mental Toughness in Young People.


Dr John Perry is Head of Psychology at Mary Immaculate College in Ireland. For several years John has been a core member of the AQR International team which has continued the development of the mental toughness concept and has been central to the work carried out establishing the reliability of the concept. John has published many papers on Mental Toughness often in collaboration with Peter Clough and Kostas Papageorgiou.

John has also led the exploration of specific aspects of Mental Toughness and a variety of applications – including new insights into understanding stress management all of which have direct implication for practitioners.

Today marks a landmark in the Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast where the show has been running for 2 years without missing a week.  As a result, 2 very special guests and pioneers in the field Doug Strycharczyk and Dr John Perry join me.  Together we discuss the third edition of their book alongside Professor Peter Clough, Developing Mental Toughness, we chat about new developments to the 4C’s Mental Toughness model.  Doug and John also share their thoughts on where research and practice is heading sharing insights into Mental Toughness and its relationships with innovation, trust and Mental Health.

Key Learning Points:

  • The development of the eight factors in the four Cs Mental Toughness model include the introduction of goal orientation, achievement orientation, risk orientation and learning orientation.
  • The eight factor framework for mental toughness has brought a new lens to understanding how other people behave.  We’ve been looking at things like trust, innovation, curiosity and more recently vulnerability.
  • Goal orientation is the extent to which you are likely to be motivated by targets.
  • Achievement orientation is the extent to which you make sure that you stick in to meet that target or goal.
  • Learning orientation links to the question – do you keep making the same mistakes?
  • In sport a lot of people struggle with reflection and repeating mistakes.  Age may have something to do with this.
  • There is potential for developing some really interesting solutions for lots of people through the Mental Toughness lens moving forwards.
  • The 4C’s model is sufficiently complex, in that it represents people and the future is very exciting where we have many options to continue on the great work already done.

Connect with Dr John Perry:

Twitter: @johnperry81

Email: [email protected]

Connect with Doug Strycharczyk:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dougstrycharczyk/

Email: [email protected]


Connect with David Charlton


Join David @ The Sports Psychology Hub

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

To Listen to the Full Podcast Episodes

Ep001: Doug Strycharczyk – The Importance of Mental Toughness

Ep028: Peter Clough MBE – Why is Mental Toughness Important?

Ep035: Dr John Perry – Thrive, Don’t Just Survive 2021

Ep050: Doug Strycharczyk, Peter Clough MBE & Dr John Perry – Mental Strength Does Not Guarantee Success 

Ep109: Maria Jeffers – How to master the mental side of horse riding

Other Useful Resources

5 Reasons team captains should work with a Sports Psychologist

Blog – Mental-Toughness is a Hugely Valuable Trait

Blog – Make Better Decisions to Help Your Sport Performance

Blog – 5 Ways to Create a Psychological Safe Sporting Environment




Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and we read every single one of them!

David Charlton

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Global Sports Psychologist who is located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally.  David also uses online video conferencing software (Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp) on a regular basis and has clients who he has supported in USA, Canada, South America, UAE, Australian and New Zealand.  

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub.  With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.     

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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