How Athletes Can Improve When Adversity Strikes
What types of adversity have created difficulty for you in the past?
Maybe you have experienced an injury or long-term sickness… Or were cut from a team or benched by your coach… Or bombed in a big competition or missed the playoffs… Or had conflict with your teammates or personal issues.
Adversity can be challenging depending upon your perspective to other athletes.
Recently, the COVID pandemic created huge obstacles for all athletes.
You, as well as every other athlete, experienced the disruption of your life and your participation in your sport.
You may feel as if the pandemic crushed your hopes and dreams for the athletic year.
Adversity is similar in nature but different in intensity.
When you hit adversity in your athletic career, it may feel as though you can do nothing about it, but that mindset leaves you feeling helpless and down. No matter what you are facing, taking positive action will help alleviate the stress of adversity.
For example, it may be true that you may not be able to perform at your peak when you are injured or sick, but you still can do something. You can utilize your time to improve your mental game, strengthen weak body parts or catch up on schoolwork…
It may seem hopeless when you are cut from a team or benched, but you can still do something to positively impact your performance. You can look for new ways to hone technique, improve your conditioning or work on weak parts of your game…
It may feel impossible when you are clashing with teammates or dealing with personal issues, but you can still do something positive for your game. You can learn to communicate better, take responsibility for your actions or find resources to help resolve personal issues…
Doing something or taking positive action when faced with adversity is empowering.
- Taking positive action prepares you for the future.
- Taking positive action prepares you to compete when the pressure is on.
- Taking positive action in tough times builds mental toughness.
The COVID-19 shutdown caused the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The postponement of the Olympics was hard to deal with for every athlete prepared to showcase their skills and ability on the world stage.
Portuguese professional triathlete Pedro Gomes, who spent countless hours training and preparing for the biggest competition in the world, was left to face adversity on a grand scale.
GOMES: “Mentally, I was definitely lost. I just did not know how long the pool was going to be closed. The uncertainty of not knowing when this is going to end and being completely out of my control, it was something scary.”
Gomes decided to do something. He took to his indoor bike trainer and virtually raced against his friends.
Doing something, just as Gomes did, helps you take back some control and leaves you feeling empowered.
Taking positive action builds resiliency and mental toughness. Overcoming adversity makes you a better, more prepared athlete as long as you maintain the right perspective.
How to Improve as an Athlete when Adversity Strikes:
When adversity strikes, think about two positive actions you’ll take to improve as an athlete–no matter your situation.
Commit to improving your game by working on your fitness, strength or mental game.
When should you work on your mental game? We suggest during the pre-season, during the season and any time you can’t train due to adversity.
Related Sports Psychology Articles
Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!
Learn more about our one-on-one mental game coaching.
Learn Mental Game Strategies to Improve Composure in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who wants to learn how to stop performance anxiety quickly, be poised, calm and in control during those “critical moments”, learn more about The Composed Athlete!
Powerful strategies for learning a composed mindset can be developed, but you must first strip away the mental ball and chains that prevent you from having instant composure when you need it.
How much better would you perform if you have total confidence and composure to perform your best in crunch-time?
The Composed Athlete CD and workbook program consists of 2 audio CD’s that include 14 days of composure boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal crunch-time challenges and coping with pressure.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
The Composed Athlete: A 14-DAy Plan For Maximum Composure
Maximize your composure today!
What are Peak Performance Sports customers saying about our confidence boosting program?
“Your Strategies Work For Students Too”
“Thank you so much for taking the time to work with our team while we were down in Florida. The tips you gave about relaxation and releasing tension before we bat or do anything was very beneficial to me. I find that I even use it during my classes at school.”*
~Ann Miller, Softball player
“No More Negative Thoughts”
am a PGA Professional and wanted some ideas to help my students, but my
own game has improved! I think I will shoot 69, negative thoughts have
vanished, and my self-talk and confidence has improved tremendously. I
will be referring my students to your web site.”*
~Bill Allen, PGA Pro