How to Overcome Adversity In Sports

All athletes experience adversity throughout their sporting careers, but it is the ones who learn how to overcome adversity that get to the highest levels in sports.

In this video, Craig, the Mental Toughness Trainer explains to a group of coaches how to help their athletes overcome adversity during a talk he gave at the Pacific Northwest Coaching Conference.

How To Help Your Athletes Overcome Adversity The Easy Way

This video on how to overcome adversity is the next segment of a series of trainings for coaches to learn how to teach mental toughness to their athletes.

Resilience is being able to bounce back from adversity. This is huge. Here’s the thing, when kids think of their screw ups, their failures, it’s a direct shock to their identity. They think it is the end of the world when they don’t perform well.

Overcome AdversityThink about this…Have you ever lost a job or involuntary, for whatever reason, had to leave a job? Think about that and your house getting repossessed all in the same day. Multiply that times five and that is what kids are feeling throughout the day most of the time when they make mistakes.

So how do we help them get back? I call it, Get Some Height. Basically, it comes down to helping an athlete see a bigger perspective or a longer term perspective.

This is where us adults are really good because we got 30, 40, 50 years behind us. We are able to look back with perspective and realize it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you that is important.

Overcome AdversityAs a coach, you guys are like gods to your athletes. I think most coaches underestimate the power they have over kids. I have listened to many adults who will tell me the most powerful thing that ever happened to them was when a coach back in their high school or junior high said x, y, z to them and how it made a big difference. I hear this over and over.

So it is important to say things like, “I believe in you. You know, okay, this meet didn’t go so well for you this weekend. I get that. I hear you. What do you need to get out and improve next time? I believe in you.”

Overcome AdversityYou can go on to say, “Now… let’s take a look at what this means in the bigger picture, in the longer term. I see you learning from this, building yourself back up from your learning, redoubling the drills we worked on.

I’ll help you, work through this overcoming adversity. You might need to really focus on your mental game. I see you then taking this and running with it. I see you going to the college level because of this.”

We’ve got more free training on how to overcome adversity for you.  Click here to get your free video training and guided visualization to discover how to perform under pressure.  You also receive a free ebook:  “The 10 commandments for a great sports parent”

Overcome AdversityWelcome to the Winner’s Circle!

Craig Sigl the Mental Toughness Trainer.

2 thoughts on “How to Overcome Adversity In Sports

  1. Amiza

    Hi Craig! I had a competition last week and im in all star cheerleading,my team actually lost although we hit almost a perfect routine. We will be competing next week for nationals but after last week i have been pretty sad and i feel like in my mind im already giving up. I read your email saying that winners love to win but they’re not afraid to lose. I try to implement that but how can I get over my doubts and be as confident as i can for next week’s competition? I am also lacking of focus. Please help.

    1. Craig

      Hi Amiza,
      You don’t need to be confident in order to perform your best. Confidence is great and helpful but I would focus on going out there and competing because you LOVE to compete and perform with your team. Stop all the thinking about winning and losing, all it’s doing is hurting you. Turn your focus to what is cool about being a competitive cheeleader and let the chips fall where they may. That will put you in the best position to perform brilliantly.


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