Bringing together the expertise of two leading authorities on Mental Toughness, Doug Strycharczyk CEO of AQR International and Penny Mallory, motivational speaker and mindset coach, Mental Toughness Matters is a new resource hub designed to introduce you to and guide you through, the world of Mental Toughness with insightful podcasts and useful downloads.

So what exactly is Mental Toughness?

Mental Toughness is a personality trait which anyone can develop. It is about being resilient, bouncing back from difficult and stressful situations, developing confidence, realising life is full of opportunities – and, with the right mindset, dealing with anything life throws at you.


What’s the key to Mental Toughness?

It boils down to one thing: self-awareness. Regardless of whether you consider yourself mentally tough or sensitive, being aware of your qualities, how you use them, and your approach is key. By practising self-awareness, you can use your qualities in the right way at the right time, avoiding potential pitfalls and achieving your goals.


How do we assess our Mental Toughness?

Measuring Mental Toughness is a multi-faceted approach. It centres around four key elements: Control, Commitment, Challenge and Confidence. Each element has two further subsets to delve further and really understand each individual. Mental Toughness can be measured using AQR’s questionnaire, the MTQPlus.


Meet the Team

Doug Strycharczyk

Doug Strycharczyk

CEO - AQR International

Doug is the CEO of AQR International – Founded in 1989, AQR is now recognised as one of the most innovative people development organisations in the world working in more than 80 countries.AQR has established its reputation as a thought leader in mental toughness. Doug has worked with Professor Peter Clough and Dr John Perry for 25+ years to define Mental Toughness and to create the world’s leading measure of Mental Toughness, the MTQ.

He is co-author of the leading text on the concept and its applications – Developing Mental Toughness (Kogan Page 2021).

Doug is now recognised as a leading authority on the application of the framework to the worlds of work, education, social mobility and coaching. He speaks regularly at major conferences and events on the importance of Mental Toughness in improving wellbeing, agility, performance and managing aspirations.

Penny Mallory

Penny Mallory

Former Rally Champion | TedX Speaker

Penny Mallory is one of the UK’s top female motivational speakers and a leading authority on Mental Toughness. Drawing from her experience in motorsport as a Rally Driver, Penny is living proof that building and developing mental toughness are vital if you are to thrive in this world.

In the fast-paced world of motorsport, Penny learned first-hand the sheer power of mental toughness. The ability to stay focused, resilient, and determined amidst the chaos of high-speed racing isn’t just a skill – it’s a necessity. Every twist, turn, and challenge on the track taught her valuable lessons about perseverance and grit.

But her journey didn’t start there or stop at the finish line. Penny realised that the principles of mental toughness aren’t exclusive to motorsport; they’re essential for success in every aspect of life. That’s why Penny made it her mission to share her experiences and insights as a motivational speaker and mental toughness coach.

Whether Penny is addressing a packed auditorium or working one-on-one with clients, she’s passionate about encouraging individuals to develop their full potential. Penny knows first-hand that with the right mindset, anything is possible.

You can find out more about Penny here

Want to learn more?

Developing Mental Toughness by Doug Strycharczyk, Peter Clough and John Perry (Published by Kogan Page) was the first book to look at applications of Mental Toughness at the organizational level and to provide a reliable psychometric measure.

The new edition includes greater coverage of how mental toughness relates to other behaviours and can be applied to leadership, creativity, emotional intelligence, and motivation. It also looks at its applications in employability and entrepreneurship and has expanded coverage of coaching for mental toughness. Written for anyone coaching individuals and teams for improved performance, the book contains practical guidance and techniques, exercises, case studies and the Mental Toughness self-assessment tool, all reflecting the exciting developments in this field over the last five years.

365 Ways to Develop Mental Toughness by Penny Mallory: This book is designed to give you a new idea every day, to help you develop your mental toughness. Practice them regularly and see the difference it makes. Keep applying them and you will be developing your mental toughness every single day. And today is the very best day to start making those positive changes!


Delve into the world of mental toughness with Doug and Penny and listen to the highly informative and relatable discussions on the key elements of mental toughness. See how these are all applicable in everyday life, and how they can help you on the way to developing your resilience, managing stress and handling pressure.

Contact Mental Toughness Matters

If you have any questions for the team, please fill in the form below.