Resilience. An attribute that is so vital to an athlete’s mentality, an attribute that takes work to build on.

I see it in the young people I teach; the young people I’ve played and trained with. How do you build resilience? Can you train to become more resilient? HELL YEAH you can.

It is not specifically about training, it’s about changing your own mindset and attitude towards certain situations.

Every athlete & person will come face to face with a moment where they have a choice, a choice with how to handle that moment, a choice in how they react to that moment.

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Your day to day life is made up of these moments. This is where someone will show their resilience.

I have had many moments in my football (soccer) and now AFLW career where this has occurred. 

If you look up the definition of resilience; it says: ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’ 

This can relate to many different aspects of the sporting world and not just here, but in life. Defeat. Injuries. Squad selections. Not drafted. Not chosen. Not good enough.

There are many different situations that will vary from person to person, athlete to athlete; that their resilience will be challenged. 

I feel as if over time, I have had to overcome all of these situations.

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I have had three ACL knee reconstructions during my time playing football (soccer). I was there when Adelaide United had the longest streak without a win. I was overlooked for game day selections.

I was not offered a contract for that upcoming season. These moments shaped my experience.

Switching to AFLW from the W-league, I put extra pressure on myself. I wanted to make my debut in Round 1 of the 2018 season so badly, that I made things worse for myself.

I was trying too hard to perform at training that I was overthinking everything. Every mark I took. Every kick I kicked.

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Every run I made. The internal battle was real and it was defeating me. I still remember the moment as though it were yesterday.

It was 11 days prior to the first game of the season. I cried the entire drive home from West Lakes, feeling deflated and disappointed in myself, knowing that I just blew my chances of playing Round 1.

The first step I took was seeking support from friends and teammates. I accepted the fact that I needed this support and had to ask for help. So I did.

I contacted our psyche support at the club and simply spoke about how I was feeling and what was going on inside that head of mine.

I went through the process with the professionals and myself. We came to the conclusion that I was focusing on the wrong things and that I needed to focus on myself.

My focus shifted to controlling the “controllables”. Controlling what was solely in my power.

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If I continue to work hard, prepare in the right way, stick to my strengths, do all the right things and not worry about everything else around me, I can reach my goals and aim for team success.

For any person out there, we all go through moments. It is important to remember to focus on yourself and your own personal development.

It takes courage in these moments. Remember to keep positive. Know what your strengths are.

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Continue to work on your weaknesses. Seeking out support is not a form of weakness, but rather a sign of courage, knowing and accepting that you will move forward with the help of others.

This is the moment that you take control and take responsibility in your life. View the setback as personal growth.

The toughest lessons in life are the hardest; but they change you. They make you stronger, make you a better player and make you a different, more resilient version of you.