Hey, Buckeyes!!! Happy summer and welcome back to the OSU Sport Psychology Blog.  It has been a while since our last post, but who’s counting? Today we cover the hot topic of RESILIENCE!!! As many of you are familiar, we sport psychologists, together with Prince Moody from SASSO, have established the resilience training program of Scarlet and Grit. This program is for all student-athletes and we hope that, but the end of four years, an entire class of Buckeyes will have experienced the full program (i.e., freshmen-senior).

So what is resilience?  According to the dictionary, it’s “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” For a student-athlete, this might look like buckling down and working hard to recover from an injury, passing a class after failing the first midterm, applying for another job after being rejected, or trying to come back the last game of a series. Take a second and think of the last time that you persevered after a disappointment, be it in sport or in life. What did you do to persevere? Here are 10 ways to help build and foster resiliency (APA; 2018):

Reach out. Reach out to friends and ask for feedback or support. You are not alone, and more often than not, others have been through something similar. You may not want advice, but a good dose of empathy can go a long way.

See the problem as a challenge. You are competitive; you would not be at OSU if you weren’t. When we see a difficult time as a challenge, something we strive to overcome, we are much more likely to approach it, instead of avoid it. Try to have an, “Oh yeah, you think that I can’t handle this? Watch me!” attitude.

Accept change . This is hard. We often want to control things in our life. However, accepting that things change and letting go of rigid control allows life to be more fluid and manageable. You don’t get mad at the clouds when it rains. You recognize that sometimes it rains and it always stops at some point.

Move toward your goals. My supervisor once said, “Avoidance is the root of all pathology.” Translated, that means that not much good comes from avoiding. Approach your anxiety by asking that hottie out on a date or by talking to your coach about something you need. Again, if you can see your goal as a type of fun challenge, you are much more likely to go after it.

Take actions. We are a Nike school. Sometimes it comes down to “Just Do It.”

Look in for the answers. “The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates said that. Difficult times can be seen as just another opportunity to learn about yourself.

Be compassionate.  Self-compassion can be one of the most powerful antidotes to discouragement. Try out the phrase, “Of course I feel…” or “Of course I have difficulty with…”

Step back. I often ask my clients, “In thirty years, will this seem as important as it does right now?” Maybe, or maybe not, but this can give us a different view of a hard situation.

Be hopeful. “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Thank you, Shawshank Redemption! Hope keeps us afloat, and sometimes it takes intention to be hopeful in times of despair (i.e., the last round of wind sprints in off season speed school =)

Engage in self care.  My old coach used to say that you have to “sharpen you ax”, meaning to do well in the future, sometimes you have to step back and take care of yourself now.


Hopefully this gives you something to chew on for the next month or so. If you bump into a problem, check out this list and see if it helps. You can always reach out to a sport psychologist too. Our information is below.


Thanks and GO BUCKS



James L. W. Houle, PhD
614-688-8993 Office


Jen Carter, PhD ABPP
614 685 1934 Direct Line

Stephen T. Graef, PhD
614-306-3806 Mobile