How to Overcome Adversity for Athletes

Adversity in Sports

Overcoming Adversity Using Mental Toughness

Do your current athletic challenges feel impossible to overcome?

Adversity can lead to you feeling angry, frustrated and dejected. You feel all alone, lost and can see no way out or end in sight… It seems like nobody knows how you feel or how horrible the situation is.

For example… A high school senior baseball player who is auditioning for college coaches is replaced in the starting lineup: “I will never get a scholarship if I am not playing. If I don’t get any financial assistance, I won’t be able to go to college.”

Or a volleyball player who put in a lot of off-season strength and conditioning training develops tendonitis in her shoulder: “I worked harder than ever and now my season is ruined. Even a few weeks off will hurt my game. I wasted all that time training this summer when I could have been hanging out with my friends.”

Or a college tennis player who feels dejected while going through a 5-match losing streak: “I’ve never played this bad in my life. My coach is disappointed in me. My parents are mad at me. My teammates are talking behind my back. I just want to quit.”

Clearly, all these athletes are going through some adversity in varying degrees. Though adversity is common among all athletes, each athlete experiences adversity in different ways.

In other words, adversity is a personal experience; the adversity you face is not bigger or worse than someone else’s adverse circumstances.

To overcome adversity, you want to understand that no matter what you are facing, many athletes have faced similar situations and some of those athletes have triumphed over those circumstances.

When you know other athletes have been in the same boat, you become less intimidated by what you are facing.

And every adverse situation you have experienced in your personal life and athletic life has helped you grow the mental toughness that you can draw upon to overcome your current circumstances. The key to overcoming is not based on the adversity you face, but via mental toughness.

Mental toughness is knowing you always can find a way through adversity by taking the right course of action, even if it is having the patience to wait out your adverse situation.

The year 2020 has been an adverse year for all athletes and coaches. The coronavirus, revamped training conditions, abnormal competition venues and precautionary protocols have thrust additional pressures onto athletes who already face a variety of challenging circumstances.

Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Danny Crossman explained how your history of overcoming obstacles and considering examples of other athletes overcoming similar adversity can give you the mental strength and confidence to succeed in dealing with your current situation.

CROSSMAN: “The more that you can have a history and recognize a history of guys having to overcome some things, you feel better when those things do come along, that you’re going to be able to overcome them.”

When you can identify examples in your life of overcoming obstacles, it provides proof that you can deal with your current situation.

Mentally tough athletes look for an answer to overcome challenges instead of feeling helpless about the problem.

How to Build Mental Toughness Amid Adversity:

Build your resiliency resume – Make a list of relevant situations you overcame and how you overcame those circumstances.

Identifying with past challenges that you successfully overcame helps you face future adversity with a mentally tough mindset.

Look for examples of athletes you know who faced similar situations and how they were able to overcome these challenges.

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“The Composed Athlete” is presented on 80-minute Audio Programs with a 70-page step-by-step workbook that guides you through the program each day. It’s a complete system for conditioning your mind to have maximum composure in competition.

The Composed Athlete” was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve your composure…

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