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Mind Over Matter: Using AI to Build Mental Toughness

By Gaelle Abecassis | Oct 2, 2023

Successful athletes do the work. They log the hours in the gym, on the road, in the pool — whatever it takes to become the best athlete they can, they do it. Sounds simple, right? On paper, it is easy. In real life, it never is. While a conditioned body is essential, it takes an equally well-trained mind to succeed. And that’s where so many of us fall short of our true athletic potential.

Whether you call it mental toughness training or mental health training, developing your mindset is just as critical as an interval workout. And it does take work. The good news? Like your muscles, your mental game grows stronger and more reliable the more you work it. And like endurance training, mental training benefits from a coach that guides you to optimum performance.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) believes so strongly in coaches learning how to develop mental toughness that they offer a class on it. In the course, they identified four keys to a successful mindset for competitors: motivation, performance under pressure, confidence, and focus. Below, we show how Humango’s AI coach can help you develop all four aspects of toughness.


Motivation is the first and easiest step to build a tougher you. Motivation is the desire to do hard things outside your comfort zone. Set ambitious goals for yourself and use them to fuel your pursuit. Too often, athletes fall short of their potential because they play it safe, setting goals that take work but are most definitely achievable. Elite athletes don’t want safe. They want to be the best, even if that means failing multiple times in different ways on their way to the top.

Humango helps by showing you a structured, progressive path to achieve your ultimate goal. All training plans and coaches do this, but Humango’s AI designs its plan to suit you — and only you. Once you see it, you can do it. And if you can do it, you're motivated to do it, and your chances of success grow exponentially.  

Performance Under Pressure

Illness, weather, work, family, equipment issues — all these factors can and will conspire to derail your endurance training. But elite athletes won’t let them. Instead, top performers adapt, adjust, and stay consistent. They keep control. And that same mental agility allows them to keep going on race day no matter what happens. By overcoming adversity in training, they prepare for it in competition.

Humango helps by automatically adjusting a training program to compensate for a missed workout (or a poor one — it happens) so you can stay on track. No need to worry when the pressure of life starts messing with your workouts. Humango’s got it handled.


Studies have repeatedly shown that confidence will separate two athletes with similar physical traits. The one lacking it might be a respectable college-level performer. The one with it can be an Olympian. But here's a cool secret: Confidence is learned and earned. Through years of training and competition, you develop confidence in yourself. You know what works and what doesn't. With confidence, you can realistically fake it 'til you make it. How? By believing in yourself and trusting that you will achieve what you set out to do. 

Humango helps by providing you with a training plan you can trust. Trust instills confidence. When you’re on track to your best performance, you have the confidence to push yourself to reach it.


Focus is a more difficult attribute to develop, but it comes with the biggest payoff. That’s why it forms the backbone of your mental game. Focus is the narrowing of your mental energy to the task at hand, whether your goal event or a series of intervals. Focus also means discipline, and this is where mental toughness comes into play. Top athletes apply discipline to their nutrition choices, sleep habits, and commitment to each workout. In short, focus involves making constructive decisions, not destructive ones that make your goals harder to achieve. Like confidence, focus takes practice, and anything you can practice, you can improve. 

Humango helps through its customized training program built for your athletic goal and lifestyle. You'll have an easier time staying focused if you break up your goals into one workout at a time. All you need to do is put your attention on your effort. Plus, Humango’s feedback data will reassure you that you’re on track, leaving you committed to the task at hand rather than wondering how you’re doing. Let Humango’s AI process the results and adjust your next workout accordingly. 

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Posted by Gaelle Abecassis