Mental toughness tip: Create adversity in practice

Staff Report

Brian Tomlinson has been a football coach in Florida for 21 years — the last four as a head coach at Bradford High. Even when practices are going well for his players, he occasionally stops practice and makes them run in order to build mental toughness.

“We actually practice mental toughness by causing adversity at practice,” Tomlinson said. “Even if things are going well, we will stop a group and make them run. It causes some frustration but it forces them to stay positive and work through it.”

Tomlinson reflected on some other goals for this offseason in a recent Q&A.

What is the No. 1 goal for your team this spring?

To improve execution.

Share one activity that you utilize to reinforce your team’s culture.

Our culture is STORM. It stands for:

  • Spirituality
  • Togetherness
  • Obedience
  • Responsibility
  • Mental Toughness

What coaching apps do you use most often?


If you could snap your fingers and be gifted one new product for your football program, what would it be?

Anything that can make us better. A better way to film the different groups at practice.
What is one change you’ve made to your strength and conditioning program in the last year?

Adding equipment.

If you could have a cup of coffee with one football coach (living or deceased) who would it be?

Gus Malzahn.

What’s driving the conversation in your locker room? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan or Tweet us @fnfcoaches. Don’t forget to use that hashtag #FNFCoachesTalk