Ways Athletes Can Develop and Improve Resilience

When it comes to sports, athletes at all levels may experience challenges and setbacks. Resilience can be defined as one’s ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from any difficult times in life and how to adapt positively to challenges that may arise. In sports, there are many risks and uncontrollable environmental factors that may affect an athlete’s progress along the way. Some challenges an athlete might encounter can be: injuries, failure to reach certain goals, disappointing performances, and more. Growing and developing resilience can be a fundamental way to overcome any challenges that may arise. This article will explore different strategies athletes may use to develop their own resilience.

Work Towards a Positive Personality

Working towards a positive mindset includes being: open to new experiences, optimistic, competitive, conscientious, and proactive. Developing a positive personality has shown to improve resilience by making one more able to regulate their emotions and see failures as a form of helpful feedback. Negative events can be viewed as minor setbacks where lessons can be learned and these experiences can be overcome through practice. A positive personality is all about how an athlete views circumstances.

Focus on Personal Development

When it comes to developing resilience, young athletes should stray away from comparing themselves to others and instead focus on themselves. Often comparing yourself to others has shown increases in stress as well as the fear of failure. Especially in today’s environment with social media, it is easy to see what is going on in others’ lives and compare it to your own. Instead, one should focus on their own journey and understand that progress can come at different paces for different people. Athletes especially should understand that comparing yourself to others can discourage oneself whilst on the path towards reaching their own goals. Instead, compare yourself to the person you were yesterday and use that as a baseline to monitor your progress through time.

Seek Support from Others

Being open to receiving support from others can be a way to develop resilience. Some support networks can include: coaches, teammates, parents, friends, and many others. Developing a support network can help athletes receive necessary technical advice to improve themselves or just receive social support when times are difficult. By being open to developing a support network, athletes can find and foster external ways to either accomplish their goals or bounce back when times are tough.

Understand What You Have Control Over

A sport environment can display many things an athlete may or may not have control over. Some aspects an athlete may not have control over can include: playing conditions, injuries, teammates, officiating, and many more. These can be categorized as the “uncontrollables” in sport. When an athlete focuses on things that are uncontrollable, they can: take their head out of a game, have negative emotions, and diminish their performance. The key is to focus on factors that one can control such as: training and preparation, effort, attitude, focus, and more. Focussing on the controllable factors can retain an athlete’s focus in certain situations and help get past challenges that may arise. Overall, an athlete should learn to understand aspects they can control and not worry over things they cannot.

Evaluate Setbacks Constructively

When setbacks occur, many athletes view these critically and often see them as failures which can lead to discouragement and loss of motivation. The key is to view setbacks constructively, not critically. An athlete can focus on what may have gone wrong that has led to a setback and find ways to overcome it. Setbacks can be used as a learning opportunity in order to surpass any similar situations in the future.

All in all, these were some strategies in which athletes can develop and improve their own resilience. By following some of these tips, an athlete can learn to overcome their personal challenges and setbacks and improve themselves. Resilience is a skill that is not always refined in everyone but can be developed through some hard work and focus.

This article provided some valuable tips for ways to improve one’s resilience. If you enjoyed this article and are looking forward to more useful content, follow on Instagram @dimitry.zor. Thanks!

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