Resilience in Sport

Great Podcast with Dr Mustafa Sarkar hosted by talking about resilience in sport. Resilience in sport was defined as the ability to maintain performance or even thrive under pressure/adversity in sport. I believe that a number of the elements discussed in the podcast, related to of building and training resilience in sport can be transferred to every day life or the lives of children in schools.

Teachers/Coaches: Some key elements of resilience are innate, like having a positive personality (outlook in life), being optimistic and being hopeful. Importantly, some are also trainable, including the ability to be proactive within ones environment, avoiding negative self talk and be aware, in real time when negative visualization or self talk is happening and turning it around. Other elements that school teachers can easily foster and aligns with Dr. Martin Brokenleg's Circle of Courage is the sense of social support (i.e. belonging).

Researchers - There is a need for a better understanding of how resilience and resilience training influences mental health outcomes. We need more intervention/experimental research to study the effects of promoting/fostering resilience. Very little research on younger athletes, and in my opinion younger people in general

Key learnings:

(1) Resilience is not about getting rid of weaknesses, but developing strengths. Need to focus on what's going well and focusing on strengths. It's not just about being optimistic, elements of realism are important to fostering resilience.

(2) People need to be exposed to adversity, spend time reflecting on it and subsequently learn from it. Take time to reflect on the adversity in order to speed the learning process.

(3) Avoid negative self talk and negative visualization. One thing we can teach youth in schools or living with chronic diseases is to recognize negative self-talk in real time and turn that into positive self-talk, in real time.

Follow Dr. Sarkar on Twitter here

His research profile is here