How to Use Adversity in Sports to Grow
Resiliency is a characteristic elite athletes possess and every athlete faces adversity. Dealing with adversity is just part of sports.
You are not the only athlete that gets unlucky breaks or experiences setbacks…
- Gymnasts will fall off the beam.
- Baseball players will slump a bit.
- Basketball players will have bad games.
- Golfers will miss crucial putts, tennis players will get unfavorable calls.
- Swimmers will have off meets.
- Triathletes will compete in bad weather.
- Runners will face challenges in training, etc.
All elite athletes will have their share of adversity each season. So, if you are going through some challenging circumstances, you’re not alone.
Athletes face adversity all the time, just listen to the post-game interviews of teams and athletes who won a competition or championship.
Every athlete will talk about two things: adversity and resiliency.
For example, you will hear comments such as:
- “All season long, we had to battle injuries but we kept fighting.”
- “I had some bad breaks early in the tournament but I kept calm and grinded out the victory.”
- “I was sick all week but I stayed positive.”
- “The other team jumped out to an early lead but we stayed focused on our game and climbed back into the game.”
When it comes to adversity, you can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you respond to adversity. You want to learn how to cope with adversity.
Dealing with adversity can help you overcome obstacles and build mental toughness or resiliency.
Let’s see how resiliency works at the elite level…
The Charlottetown Islanders are a junior ice hockey team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and were down 2-0 in their playoff series against Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.
Rather than becoming frustrated over the losses, the Isles stayed focused on the task at hand. The team built on the positives from the first two games and stayed confident in their ability to win the next two games on their home ice.
Isles center, Keith Getson, talked about the resilient mentality of the team and its focus on the next game.
GETSON: “We’re [mad] we’re down 2-0, honestly right now. If people think we’re out of this, that’s good, it fuels our fire. Coming back home, we’re happy now in our building. We did honestly play two really good road games. Hopefully we’ll get some puck luck and take home the wins.”
The mental toughness and resiliency of the Isles fueled their play as the team won Game 3 in overtime 3-2.
Then Game 4, the Isles showed their mental toughness again winning the game in overtime, 4-3, despite being down 3-1 in the third period.
It is the Isles’ mental toughness that helped them tie the playoff series according to center Keith Getson.
GETSON: “We’ve been a resilient group all year and at any point in the game I don’t think anybody thought we were out of it… We’ve come back from a lot of deficits this year.”
Resiliency keeps you in contention. Resiliency keeps you competing.
The most important lesson is the way you respond to challenges during your career. And if you respond in a positive manner, you learn and grow from the experience.
How to Turn Adversity Into Your Advantage:
Remind yourself that coming back from adversity may be difficult but mentally quitting makes coming back impossible.
You have a choice in how you respond to challenges in sports and life.
Making the choice to take on adversity is half the battle of dealing with it.
Improve Concentration in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!
Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!
The Focused Athlete is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!
This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.
- How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
- How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“As a result of reading and implementing ‘The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional
“I enjoyed ‘The Confident Athlete Series’ very much. I particularly liked the format, the ease of the program, and the 2 CDs that accompanied the workbook – 10-20 minutes a day was simple to adhere to and put in my busy schedule. I love the part about confidence with grace, and what I want to portray and feel the minute I step foot into Los Angeles for nationals. I love the affirmations, the relaxation techniques, and just the entire perspective of the program.”
~Sarah, US National Aerobic Gymnastics Team