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In the early 1990s Professor Peter Clough was fascinated by the impact of mindset on performance in sport. Seeking to understand what this was, he found that mental Toughness consisted of 4 elements– Control, Commitment, Challenge and Confidence. Called the 4 Cs these describe how you respond mentally to what happens to you. 

Further research with AQR and others found that these 4 elements were supported by 8 factors. This enables us to understand our mental response to a fine level of detail. This enables one of the things that is most important in making our way through life – your self-awareness.

Research shows that Mental Toughness is a major factor in your Performance, Wellbeing, Agility and in Aspirations. Today we also know that it helps us to go beyond surviving to thriving in times of crisis, chaos and challenge.


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  • 30 years of research and application – led by AQR International
  • A unique collaboration between leading academics and practitioners
  • Over 250 independent research paper support the concept
  • Leading edge thinking made very practical

Now used by 1000’s of practitioners in 80+ countries, the concept applies to everyone, everywhere. It applies in sport, work, organisations, education, social mobility, mental health, etc.

It is a fundamentally important aspect of our personality that is difficult to assess. This is enabled through the 8 factor 4 Cs framework and the MTQ measures.  It is widely used by coaches, trainers, facilitators and counsellors to help people to understand why they might struggle and how to find a solution.

 A core ethos in AQR International is to maintain research to improve understanding about how it can be applied. This includes working to develop tools and techniques which support people in optimising their mental responses to what happens to them.

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