Building Tougher Minds with Mickey Ahrens

The year 2020 was full of uncertainty. For Mickey Ahrens, the start of the coronavirus pandemic brought with it serious questions about what he wanted his future to look like. After being furloughed from his job, he founded Tough Minds, which seeks to help people develop mental toughness and bring mindset training programs into the home.

In recent years, words like “mindfulness” have been making their way into the mainstream. But some folks may be unsure about how it applies to them or their kids. For Ahrens, building strong-minded individuals, who are self-aware and able to understand their place on a team, helps athletes learn skills they can use outside of sports, too. It’s never too late to begin learning mental toughness and resilience, he says. We can always get better if we keep moving forward, no matter what adversity comes our way.

Key Moments You Don’t Want to Miss:

  1. 2020 Vision How getting furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic helped Mickey Ahrens consider what he wanted his impact on the world to be
  2. An Uncertain Year Why the pandemic has made it challenging to think about long-term goals in the face of an unpredictable future
  3. Mental Fortitude Why being tough and being mindful aren’t in opposition for Ahrens
  4.  Bringing it Home How lessons are reinforced when kids encounter them both on the field and with their families

What You’ll Learn:

  • Define both your short- and long-term goals
  • Ask what impact you want to make on the world
  • Seek out true connection with others
  • Mental toughness helps with adversity
  • Self-awareness builds strong athletes


“One thing I talk about is the telescope and the microscope. You have to have that long-term vision of: where are we going and what’s the plan? Then, you put that away and you focus on what’s in front of you — the daily process to get there.” -Mickey Ahrens

“Connections matter, relationships matter, people matter.” -Mickey Ahrens

“If we’re talking to a kid about fighting through adversity on the field, and then they get home and the parents can say similar or the same messages and lessons, now it becomes part of that kid’s life.” -Mickey Ahrens


  • You can learn more about Mickey Ahrens’ work and Tough Minds online at
  • You can also find him on LinkedIn by searching for his name, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ToughMindsCoach.

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Episode 284