In this interview, researcher and lecturer, Dr. Mustafa Sarkar, describes his powerful and cutting-edge findings on resilience with high achievers and Olympic champions. He defines resilience as the “the ability to use personal qualities to withstand pressure.” He discusses 6 personal qualities that resilient people have which include: 1) positive and proactive personality, 2) experience and learning, 3) sense of control, 4) flexibility and adaptability, 5) balance and perspective and 6) perceived social support. Dr. Sarkar provides practical tips including “learning your ABCs” on how to build resilience in yourself, your clients, or your team.
Dr. Dave Yukelson, the Sport Psychologist at Penn State for 28 years, discusses how mental toughness is not something we are born with. Instead, it is an inner drive that we learn. He describes that the best athletes are mentally tough and have an ability to have a growth mindset and stay composed in the game. To do this, Yuke talks about letting go of the “mental gu” and “flipping the channel.” He also discusses the skill of focus which includes being “right here, right now,” positivity, composure and a choice to be confident. Other topics he discusses includes trying too hard, focal points, and the importance of the breath in performance.