A Pre-Requisite

Adaptability – A Pre-Requisite

By Stephen Graef

Adaptability is a pre-requisite for being a successful student-athlete.  Though many of us possess the capability to transition well in new circumstances, there are those times when we all might struggle.  As the new school year approaches, we will be faced with new conditions that we must adapt to.  Incoming freshmen may need to adapt from being away from home and adjust to a newer, more demanding schedule.  Upperclassmen may face harder upper-level classes and increased roles on the team to be particularly challenging.  Thus, it is critical we take a moment to assess our own levels of adaptability and implement strategies to enhance our abilities to conquer these new and more demanding situations.

Strategy 1: Choose to be a fighter.

1Fighters are devoted to making adjustments, not excuses. Fighters are accountable and believe they can be successful.  They choose to get better every day and look for reasons to be positive.  Victims, on the other hand, make excuses, blame others, complain, and avoid difficult situations. Look at your current situation.  Are you being a victim or a fighter??  The choice is yours!

Strategy 2: Create a plan of attack

Sometimes when we are faced with new, demanding conditions we become overwhelmed and can’t think straight.  As a result, we need a quick, go-to strategy for getting our minds in the right state to deal with whatever challenging situation we’re in.  This plan of attack involves the following three steps:

1) What? – Identify what exactly is the new, challenging situation.

2) So what? – Identify that which you actually have control over and that which you do not.

3) Now what? – Identify the best plan of attack based on what is going on and what you are actually able to do about it.

Strategy 3: Be creative

Adjusting to new conditions involves thinking on your feet and identifying new ways of doing things.  By thinking outside of the box you can come up with a variety of solutions and skills that can turn stress into strength.  Practice being in challenging or unique situations and experiment with creative strategies.  Incorporate these strategies into your tool box.


S2 Tip

Adjusting to new conditions involves thinking on your feet and identifying new ways of doing things when the opportunity presents itself.


Success Story

Congratulations to Tom Glavine, the former Atlanta Braves star pitcher, for being inducted into the MLB hall of fame! Glavine had humble beginnings growing up in Billerica, Pennsylvania and realized he wanted to be a baseball star after always throwing snowballs at cars and always getting in trouble for his incredible accuracy. Glavine had a career ERA of 3.54 and 2607 strikeouts. He got 525 of the 571 total possible votes.


In Another’s Words

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

– Charles Darwin