“Effective performance is preceded by painstaking preparation.” – Brian Tracy

What comes to mind when you think of the word CLUTCH?

Recently, in one of my rare moments sitting in front of the TV watching a football game, I heard the announcer call a player CLUTCH after he made a tough play at a critical time in the game.

This one play completely switched the momentum of the game and energized his team. They were the underdogs and had been down by a few touchdowns. As a result of that one play, they ended up coming back from behind to win the game and go into the playoffs.

That one word, CLUTCH, made me think about what it takes to be clutch in life.

Coaching Yourself Clutch Series

In this blog post, I’m going to share a preview of the Coaching Yourself Clutch Series I’ve created for you. I will also leave you with 3 things you can do to increase your mental toughness and become clutch.

We will be looking at dangerous thinking traps that can prevent you from having a strong mindset. A few of the traps we’ll be exploring are:

  • How to Stop Overthinking
  • The Cost of Taking Things Personally
  • Tackling a Perfectionistic Mindset
  • The Dangers of Black and White Thinking

Those are just a few of the topics we will be covering. I also would welcome your feedback. I invite you to email me and let me know some of the mindset traps you might be facing so we can include them; consider this your coaching program.

For today, let’s look at 3 things you can do to start cultivating a resilient mindset and become clutch.

1. Master Your Emotions

Mastering your emotions falls into the category of Emotional Intelligence. According to Karen Reivich Ph.D., and Andrew Shatte Ph.D., in their book, The Resilience Factor, Resilient people use a well-developed set of skills that help them to control their emotions, attention, and behavior.

Those who control their emotions are well-equipped to handle pressure situations, succeed at work, and maintain healthy relationships. This is something that is totally in your power to do. Taking responsibility for your emotions emboldens you to be clutch.

Action Steps:

For you to take action in this area, your first step is to start becoming aware of your emotional triggers. Once you have the awareness of what pushes your buttons, you can press pause and count to 6. This allows you time to think about how you want to handle the situation in a healthy way.

Your 3 Keys:

  • Awareness
  • Press Pause
  • Strategize

2. Cultivate a Mindset of Self-Efficacy

According to psychologist Albert Bandura, self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. (Bandura 1977, 1986, 1997).

In layman terms, self-efficacy is confidence in controlling your behavior, motivation, and environment; basically, you become a brilliant problem solver.

Knowing you can solve problems increases your self-confidence because you have trust in your ability to find solutions. This gives you a solid foundation for creating patterns of success.

Action Steps:

For you to take action in the area of self-efficacy, your first step is to shift your mindset when it comes to obstacles. Think in terms of, this is doable rather than this is so hard. Next, take on a solutions-oriented mindset.

When you develop a solutions-oriented mindset rather than dwelling on your seemingly impossible problems, you actually start solving them. This builds confidence.

Your 3 Keys:

  • Perspective
  • Solutions-Oriented
  • Focus on Previous Successes to Build Confidence

3. Foster an Optimistic Mindset

Optimism is an attitude of hopefulness and confidence about the future; the belief that things will turn out well.

Decades of research with trauma survivors overwhelmingly shows that optimism is a non-negotiable trait of resilient people.

Experts in post-traumatic stress and authors of the book, Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges, Steven M. Southwick, M.D., and Dennis S. Charney, M.D, believe that optimism serves as a fuel that ignites resilience and provides energy to power the other resilience factors.

Optimism facilitates an active and creative approach to dealing with challenging situations.

The bottom line is to cultivate being a realistic optimist as opposed to a blind Pollyanna-like optimist.

Action Steps:

For you to take action in the area of fostering optimism, recognize that optimism should not be blind. You don’t want to ignore negative information or adverse circumstances. Rather, you want to factor them in but do not waste precious time making them your primary focus. Become a realistic optimist.

Don’t assess your obstacles with rose-colored glasses. Look at all the facts, utilize discernment with an optimistic attitude but know when to punt and when to move forward.

Your 3 Keys:

  • Evaluate Unbiasedly
  • Be Realistic
  • Move Decisively

Why is it Important to be Clutch?

Hopefully, you’ve seen that a clutch person is someone who remains calm under pressure, controls their emotions, and can be counted on to come through when needed; basically, someone who is mentally tough.

That is something that all of us can benefit from; to be a person who comes through in the pressure situations of life.

This one trait has the potential to not only help you overcome situations where you feel like an underdog down by a couple of touchdowns late in the game, but  it can also motivate and energize those around you to also succeed.

I hope the tools and tips I shared with you today will help you overcome mental roadblocks you may be facing so that you can tap into your own mental strength and build resilience to help you tackle the challenges of life; to be clutch.


Keep Believing,

Always remember – Nothing is Impossible



Reivich, Karen Ph.D., Shatte, Andrew Ph.D. The Resilience Factor, The United States, Three Rivers Press 2002

Southwick, Steven M. M.D., Charney, Dennis S. M.D, Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges The United States, Cambridge University Press, 2012

Rita Hudgens
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