What Is The Hardest Sport Mentally? Some May Get You Shocked

Playing sports can help you improve your physical and mental health, so people often think sports have a high physical demand. However, not all of them require only physical, because some sports also demand high mental standards. Then what is the hardest sport mentally? Here are to 5 most mentally challenging sports you may not think about. Keep scrolling through our article and discover which are they!

Why Are Individual Sports So Mental?

Needless to say, in individual sports, you have no one else to rely on or to blame for. The whole responsibility of the work depends on you. If the day is positive, you do well. In contrast, you do worse when the day goes poorly. These factors have caused an astronomical volume of anxiety or mental challenges to the sport, as they can increase anxiety and negativity and decline the individual’s confidence. 

Realize The Moments That Change Your Performance

The athlete bears the sole responsibility for mental and physical performance in individual sports, exhibiting great pressure. More specifically, this kind of sport exists more when negative mental demons show up. For example, most athletes start to increase their nerves, stress, or anxiety the night before any competition. This negative thinking goes on until the next morning or even the start of the event. 

Moreover,  individual sports tend to start and stop several times, which creates a chance for negative mental demons to creep into the most critical moments. There will be more time for overthinking or overanalyzing.

What Is The Hardest Sport Mentally?

Now we would like to name five specific sports that require the most mental toughness. In Particular, they have the most mental skills to control the game and reach the performance peak.

  • Swimming

what is the hardest sport mentally

Surprisingly, swimming reaches no. 1 in the mentally challenging sports. 

Most professional swimmers normally fall into a 7-day self-sabotage cycle. They tend to get doubting and stressing feeling up to seven days in before their competition. Day over day, the nerves get higher and compound in the mind of swimmers. 

However, they could get over this negative feeling and lessen the nerves so that they would perform at their best on the day of competition. To do that, swimmers have to find a productive way to evaluate each race and their overall performance to get further growth and better skills.

  • Gymnastics

Not only physically challenging, but gymnastics also has more mental toughness than you might expect. In fact, many of us often skip gymnastics because of the amount of strength to tumble, twist, and vault. We also tend not to realize the constant pressure when competing against ourselves. It is truly a harsh challenge to achieve such routine timing with a great level of self-discipline and determination.

On average, most professional gymnastics have to spend five days per week for sessions of 3 hours or more to practice. If you break the routine, the result of your practice might become nothing. Thus, all you need to do is fully focus on your goal to get the results with flying colors.

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  • Tennis


Any of us who has never cracked a tennis racket? Tennis ranks top of the hardest mental sports in the world. When becoming a professional tennis player, most people will have a hard time dealing with the sabotage a week before a great tournament.

Moreover, many professional players have difficulty concentrating on the game. At the beginning of the match, players seem to have great concentration, but it drops quickly due to other outside events or pressure situations. Hence, a good player can quickly refocus and adjust their mental state to achieve the goal. 

  • Golf

Whether you are a professional or a rookie, golf is still really distressing with a super-challenging experience. Like playing tennis, players have to cultivate their concentration. 

When the train derails from the tracks, it could give you a feeling of super disappointment. Thus, players always have to stay calm and believe that they could salvage the round and compete with other players. 

  • Baseball

Last but not least, baseball is the fifth mentally challenging sport to name.  When playing baseball, you have a lot of downtimes- the waiting time to go to bat and waiting time for the next batter. Pitchers will receive quite a huge amount of pressure and thinking time when they are waiting to take the mound. At this time, doubt and negative thinking will creep in and take over players. 

To stop this mental toughness, try to avoid the 7-day self-sabotage cycle and minimize your nerves. Moreover, it is also highly recommended to practice ways to refocus and let go of all mistakes when playing.


So what is the hardest sport mentally? We bet you have got a proper answer now. To sum up, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, golf, and baseball are the five most mentally demanding sports ever. In Particular, you should combine physical training with mental training to deal with any negative mental demons and achieve the best success in these games. 

Reference source: 10 Hardest Sports to Master

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