Monday, 22 Jul 2024

Hidden Resilience: Uncovering the Superpowers in Your Team

Have you ever stopped to think that the behaviors that often irritate you within your team might actually be hidden superpowers? Resilience goes beyond the ability to overcome adversity; it also involves using behaviors that may not always be seen as positive. By exploring hidden resilience, we can take typically viewed “bad behaviors” and transform them into valuable skills.

Nadia Kyba, an expert in TrueSport and President of Now What Facilitation, provides an intriguing example. She explains how a player who constantly points out others’ mistakes could potentially be a great coaching assistant if their critiques were channeled in a positive manner.

To uncover hidden resilience, we need to dig deeper and look beyond the surface. Bullying behaviors, although unacceptable, often stem from a desire for acceptance, meaningful participation, or self-determination. These behaviors serve as a protective shield, concealing fears of failure or embarrassment.

Children are smarter than we give them credit for. Sometimes, they engage in negative behaviors as a way to predict and control outcomes. For instance, an anxious child may act out during practice or show up late to ensure they get benched. By having conversations with athletes who display such behaviors, coaches can help them establish new expectations and develop both as athletes and individuals.

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Understanding an athlete’s past traumas is also crucial. Coaches who adopt a trauma-informed approach look beyond the current behavior to uncover the underlying reasons behind it. By acknowledging an athlete’s hidden resilience, even if it means inaccurately assessing a situation, coaches can empathize and create an environment for open communication.

Transforming negative behavior into positive actions is a significant step. Young athletes often struggle to see themselves clearly, and the motivations behind their hidden resilience may be unclear to them. However, adults can guide them to tap into their reserves of resilience and channel it in positive ways. For example, instead of being the “loud kid” on the team, they can become a team leader, or instead of acting out and risking being banned from a game, they can engage in extra practice sessions and visualization exercises.

Encouraging regular team conversations is essential for effective communication and conflict resolution. By providing a safe space for athletes to voice their concerns without fear of consequences, coaches can address issues before they escalate. Early implementation of team meetings helps establish a culture of openness and honesty.

In conclusion, recognizing the hidden resilience behind problematic behaviors, even those involving bullying, can help athletes channel their strength into positive actions. Every athlete’s past experiences and traumas, no matter how small, can significantly impact their behaviors. By understanding and supporting them, coaches and teams can create an environment that fosters personal growth and resilience.

About TrueSport

TrueSport® is a movement driven by the experience and values of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). It promotes the positive values and life lessons learned through youth sports. TrueSport inspires athletes, coaches, parents, and administrators to transform the culture of youth sports through engagement and a thoughtful curriculum based on sportsmanship, character-building, and clean and healthy performance. By doing so, TrueSport creates leaders within communities through the power of sports.

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