Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Resilience: Daring to Compete

Resilience is a skill. I define resilience as the capacity to give our best effort regardless of the circumstances

During medical training, trainees are continuously stressed, overworked, and fatigued. We routinely had shifts approaching 36 hours. Grabbing an hour or two of sleep was desirable but uncertain. 

Current trainees allegedly are disallowed (by law) from working over eighty hours. That's theory. During my second year of "residency" I worked 185 consecutive days. This degrades decisions and performance but quitting on patients and peers is not an option

Denial isn't part of resilience. Confront our limitations. 

"Invert, always invert." What types of actions occur because of lack of resilience? 
  • Mental checkout. Players fail to hear and apply coaching.
  • Poor transition defense. 
  • Bad defensive rebounding. 
  • Poor help and recover defense. 
  • Diminished ball pressure.
  • Degraded shot selection and free throw percentage. 

Basketball demands resilience in a variety of ways. 
  • Playing through minor illness and injury ("hurt not injured")
  • Playing through disappointment over role or production
  • Losing tough games or tough stretches
  • Contributing during a game when overmatched
  • Never quitting during games - "play the game not the scoreboard"
  • Not surrendering to distractions (family issue, academics, relationships)
  • Negative feedback (can come from 'friends' or foes)
  • Negative media coverage
Whom do we rely upon for positive energy?
  • Own our attitude. 
  • Grow our support system. 
  • Contribute to positive team culture. Uplift those around us. 
Develop resilience role models. "I can do this." 
  • Kyle Maynard was born with short limbs and had great parental support developing great personal resources. He later climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. 
  • Arlene Blum led an all-woman expedition to summit Annapurna, one of the fourteen Himalayan peaks above 8,000 meters. Her group overcame severe weather and avalanches that contributed to a pair of deaths. 
  • Professor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain won a Congressional Medal of Honor leading the Maine 20th Regiment at Gettysburg. 
  • Sara Blakely, sole owner of Spanx, a five billion dollar company, began her career as a fax machine salesperson who feared public speaking. 
Coaching examples of resilience
  • Dean Smith returned from a road trip to find himself hung in effigy at UNC. His outraged players proceeded to win 8 of their final 10 games. 
  • Doc Rivers stabilized the Clippers in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal. Rivers explained how his parents told him, "Never be a victim." 
  • Don Meyer's near-fatal car accident led to a discovery of terminal cancer. Nevertheless he returned to coaching at a high level and never gave up. 

How can we specifically become more resilient?
  • Consider cognitive (above), emotional, physical (fitness), and spiritual domains 
  • Practice positive self-talk (affirmations). 
  • Include a personal mental highlight reel of achievements/success. 
  • Practice mindfulness. 
  • Study resilience. 
Life comes at us fast. We won't always be prepared for it. But we can respond more effectively. 

  • Give our best regardless of circumstances.
  • Quitting on peers is not an option.
  • Study resilience role models.
  • Develop a portfolio of coaching resilience examples. 
  • Work on resilience as a skill in the 'coactives' model of technical, tactical, physical, and psychological domains 

Lagniappe (something extra): MasterClass notes on Resilience interview with Huma Abedin 

Create value for team and teammates regardless of your role on the court. 

Lagniappe 2. Training impact varies with the readiness of athletes to absorb it. 

Grinding athletes into dust exacts a toll. 

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