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As far as challenges of your fortitude and mental resolve are concerned the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge is up there with the best. In December, one crew, Become Atlantic, joins 40 others to row across 3000 miles of ocean.

Penny Mallory, Grace Pybus, Maddie Difazio-Wright and Grace Gilbert, are now in the process of training to deal with the physical and mental challenges in seeking to achieve a frankly awesome goal. Meet the team at

AQR International, the world’s leading authority on the mental toughness concept, is delighted to work with this group to help them prepare mentally as individuals and as a team to complete this gargantuan task.

The mental toughness support is led by Professor Peter Clough. This puts the mental toughness concept at the centre of the support activities. It is an important part of the preparation. Preparation can be as challenging as the actual crossing.

The program embraces team sessions and individual sessions. In March, the focus was on individual sessions. The four crew mates completed the MTQPlus, the world’s leading measure for assessing mental toughness across eight highly relevant factors.

The results were then explored with Professor Peter Clough, in a confidential format, firstly to help each to gain a better understanding of what their profiles meant for them.

The profiles were distinct and nuanced and provided much to talk about.  It appears that each crew member is unique and has personalised development needs that should enhance their experiences.

Several interesting ideas were proposed. These have been left with the four rowers to both think through and then, when appropriate, to action

The abiding takeaway from these sessions was that this was a cohesive crew, each bringing something distinct to the adventure. Enthusiasm and excitement are high at this point.

Self-awareness, the foundation of optimising mental toughness, allows us to harness the power of self and optimise the benefits of exposing ourselves to challenging situations.

It’s not about simply doing challenging things – it’s about planning the self-development pathways these can provide.

For the team at AQR International, this is a great opportunity to collaborate with a team embracing an extreme challenge. We might not be on the boat, but we will be with them in spirit all the way.

For more information about mental toughness and what benefits it can bring, even if your challenges are not as extreme as crossing the Atlantic contact us at

Finally, the Become Atlantic crew are raising funds for four charities.

The team also welcomes sponsorship of all shapes and sizes. This effort will use and need resources.

Information for both can be found on their website.

On completion, they will have quite a story to tell which will be motivational and compelling. If interested in booking one or more as speakers contact:  or