Adapt To Change

Tennis players know how to adapt to change, and the very best are resilient and tough enough to deal with any situation.

Published October 03, 2012 10:57

Adapt To Change
Victoria Azarenka

Athletes are action people. When there is action, there is movement.

When there is movement there is change. Change involves adjustment and transformation. Change comes from a range of life experiences: small stressors to major life decisions.

Sometimes, people fear or resist change as humans crave balance.

Human physiology (our bodies), psychology (our minds) and spirit (our souls) exist in a state of homeostasis, where there is equilibrium and stability in all systems. Change causes an imbalance in these systems that can be uncomfortable. Our bodies, minds and souls seek homeostasis and will adjust to movement away from the point of balance by adapting to restore equilibrium. This ability to return to homeostasis, to adapt and adjust = resilience.


A resilient individual is tough, strong and robust. He or she may experience some stress when change arises, but they will embrace, confront and deal with their fears.

• Champions and successful individuals deal with change.
• They learn to adjust and adapt and they become tougher mentally, physically and emotionally. It takes much more stress, much more challenge to disrupt or throw a champion off balance.
• Success in sports requires constant adjustment and management of change.
• Build a resilient personality in life to help you adapt to the challenges.

"He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
Muhammad Ali, three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion


Don't avoid or deny a challenge or new situation. Face your doubts and take time to deal with it. Use, develop and strengthen coping skills that will help you sort out and effectively manage the situation or person that causes your discomfort and doubt. This helps make you stronger and tougher.

The reorganization that results from change in your life, in your thinking and actions comes about with:
• Creativity
• Personal insight
• Restoring self-esteem
• Maintaining or developing the freedom to trust in your healthy personal support team of those people who matter in your life

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."
Arnold Bennett, author and journalist


• The psychological and biological strength that is required to successfully master change.
• The process of coping with disruptive, stressful or challenging life events in a way that provides a person with better protective and coping skills than what they had before the event.
• The ability to "bounce back" stronger from adversity.

Resilient individuals have developed skills and abilities to manage change in three different ways:
These three elements were first identified by Kobasa in 1982. Tough and resilient people:
• View obstacles, stressors and moments of change not as threats, but as challenges, as opportunities to learn, to overcome and become stronger.
          * They always strive to be tougher.
          * They are less likely to be thrown out of balance by an unexpected or difficult event.
• Feel committed to the things they do in life.
          * Whether she/he practices; spends time with her family; studies a language; or learns a new skill, the resilient athlete is dedicated to and responsible for what she/he does in life.
• Feel in control of what happens.
          * The tough athlete knows she/he is in control of her own responses and reactions.
          * She/he recognizes those things she/he cannot control.

"Champions keep playing until they get it right."
Billie Jean King, 12-time Grand Slam singles champion


Champions possess the qualities that characterize a resilient individual. YOU can learn, develop and use these qualities to help you in your life and your performance. Champions and resilient people demonstrate these qualities:
• Able to build upon skills learned during prior change and uncertainty
• Focus on the process (task oriented) not on the outcome (ego-oriented, win/lose focus)
• Ability to give yourself—your time, energy and to share your abilities
• Behaves in accordance with her/his beliefs—keeps her/his word
• Belief in a higher force
• Good self-esteem
• Self-confidence
• Sense of humor
• Internal sense of control—takes responsibility for her/his actions
• Ability to delay gratification (can wait for the rewards)
• Independence of spirit (autonomous)
• Feels empowerment
• Ability to be a friend
• Positive futuristic vision
• Problem solving ability
• Flexibility — open to new ideas
• Self motivation
• Desire to learn
• Good decision making skills
• Self mastery
• Anticipates and accepts that change happens
• Ability to listen
• Humility


The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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