Archive for March, 2020

During The Coronavirus Crisis, Ways to Act Resilient

March 20, 2020

With the Covid-19 Coronavirus crisis, we are facing challenging and difficult situations that mount daily, if not hourly. We face a time when resilience, or the ability to recover quickly from a difficult or challenging situation. plays an important part in our lives. 

As part of the Born Ready Project, I developed a program that offers ways to act resilient. and have spoken to youth in large and small settings about the importance of resilience when facing a challenge. Such situations may include an injury, missing a soccer penalty kick in a shootout, a serious illness, the loss of a loved one, or a natural tragedy that drastically disrupts your life. I also pass along these tips to youth as a high school teacher and a professional soccer coach. 

In my latest Born Ready blog, I suggest five ways to stay resilient through a crisis. This can help everyone effectively endure this challenging time.

Stay Positive – It’s difficult to see the light at the end of tunnel that gets clogged every day with more unsettling information about the virus and how it is affecting our lives. The key here is to find and embrace positive moments and situations, and not lose sight of a future that will improve.

As a teacher, I am fortunate to still receive my pay while we sort out the best ways to adjust our teaching methods to suit every student remotely. With schools closed and my wife able to work full time from home, I’ve assumed the role of caretaker for our nine-year-old son, Cayden.

Already I’ve seen the positive benefits of spending more relaxed time with Cayden. Each day we’ve either gone outside for a few hours to play soccer and/or basketball, or riding a bike. Sure, we annoy each other at times, but we also engage in moments of healthy laughter and light conversation. All the activity and quality interaction helps us justify allowing more time for him to watch television or play games on his mobile device. 

Find ways to enjoy each day, and relish the positive moments. Perhaps a young soccer player will spend more time fine-tuning skills, such as juggling or kicking swerved balls against a wall, that will help him when organized play resumes. 

Take some time to imagine what life will be like once this Corona crisis is over, focusing on the lessons you may have learned and ways you can improve your life. At that point, you will likely have to…

Accept Change – anytime we fight change, we embrace feelings that make us more anxious and increase our stress levels. Accepting and embracing change will place you in a more positive frame of mind. 

A competitive athlete knows that resisting and fighting a challenge makes it harder to conquer that challenge. For example, during a conditioning exercise, it helps to welcome every set of sprints, not dread them. Accept that they will cause discomfort, but you will get through them, and be better off once they are completed. 

When a challenge confronts you, take a deep breath, accept the situation and then…

Set Realistic Goals – When you face a drastic change, assess the situation and set realistic goals that will help you work through the challenge. If you are an injured athlete, set time frames to return to comfortable physical activity, then training and ultimately to competition. If you are laid off from a job, quickly research your work options. Do you need a job in a week, or a month? Assess your financial situation and plan a budget 3 or 6 months out. Setting realistic goals will help you understand that there is an endpoint, and see the future in a more positive way. It also helps to…

Take Care of Yourself – to help recover from a challenge, it helps to maintain a strong sense of yourself, and focus on healthy activities that make you feel better and bring joy to your day. They can include meditation, exercise, maintaining clean personal habits, enjoying fun family activities and talking with someone who may provide emotional support. That’s a great way to…

Connect with Others – There’s a good reason why team sports focus on teamwork. One athlete alone can not provide the best result. Teams can not perform to their full potential without practicing together, getting to know each other’s tendencies, and becoming comfortable as a group despite disparate personalities. As part of a team, you connect with each other to overcome challenges. 

To overcome any challenge, connect with others who are facing similar challenges. You will learn things others are doing to help them conquer the challenge. And you will likely find that you can offer advice to help others as well. Working as a team, you will improve your chances, and those of others, to overcome any challenge. 

Inspirational Video – To end on a fun note, here’s a video that shows the resilience of Cayden, then 22-months old, trying to shoot a basketball through a hoop. Try to figure out which of the tips he most displayed while staying resilient.