Although I am only 21 years old and at the beginning of my career, from what I have experienced so far, the ability to have resilience is a trait that I personally believe is crucial to being successful as an elite athlete.

For those outside of the high performance sport bubble it may be hard to understand and see the extreme highs and lows that an athlete endures throughout their careers.

Being an elite athlete can come across as somewhat ‘glamorous’; traveling the world, being in the public eye, sponsorships and on television. But what is often not seen is the mental and emotional side of high performance sport.

Phoebe Bell

The hours and hours of training that are put in behind the scenes, and the scarifies that are made in order to do everything possible for performance.

I am a professional beach volleyballer, and I can confidently say that without possessing strong levels of resilience, it is impossible to become successful in our sport.

Our travel schedule is full on, we are overseas competing for many weeks at a time living out of suitcases, sleeping in uncomfortable beds and not having a lot of access to quality and nutritious food.

This can become challenging when trying to perform.

Phoebe Bell exclusive insight

Having the ability to back up each week, especially after a tournament that has not panned out like you would have liked, and make sure you are at your best every single game takes courage and resilience.

Winning a tournament one week and not progressing out of the pool the next week is a common occurrence for teams in our sport.

For most athletes, if they do not perform, they do not get income – simple.

There are no bonuses or prize money for poor performance and who would want to sponsor an under performing athlete?

This is another aspect where mental and emotional resilience comes into play.

Phoebe Bell

The importance of moving on quickly and taking lessons from poor performances to ensure that in the future this does not reoccur.

Unfortunately for a lot of elite athletes, retirement at a young age before they have reached their potential in their chosen sport is common due to financial reasons.

It becomes expensive to self fund or part fund yourself being an elite athlete.

Their are expenses for travel, competition, equipment and living interstate training with national programs. Not to mention other aspects such as quality food, massage and physio are all expenses that are crucial to reaching full potential as an athlete.

For some athletes, like myself, I am extremely lucky and grateful for the fact that I do receive some financial support and I do not have to work part time.

For others, juggling full time training and work to support their athletic endeavours can become unsustainable – a side of the high performance sporting world that the general public may not be aware of.

Not only is resilience important when competing but it is also important on the daily for elite athletes.

Training full time, at least twice a day can become tough emotionally and physically.

Turning up to training when you are tired and when the last thing your body feels like doing is exerting itself is tough. Not only do you have to turn up to training but you also have to be in a positive head space that will get you the most of out of the session.

This takes day to day resilience.

Phoebe Bell

As a beach volleyballer, traveling the world competing I have experienced some crazy weather conditions: howling winds, temperatures at almost zero degrees and snowing (Moscow 2017 world tour!), temperatures pushing 40 degrees in Asia with insane humidity and bucketing down rain to the point you can barely see the ball.

To accept these conditions and still step out on the court and bring your best volleyball is not easy, trust me! It’s all about resilience, resilience, resilience – I believe the key to becoming a successful elite athlete.

I want to have a long and successful career as a professional beach volleyballer.

I love the challenges that elite athletes face and I love pushing myself beyond where I thought I could reach.

I know that if every time I am faced with these challenges or set backs if I keep reminding myself to be resilient, I will have a long and successful career.

I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me as an athlete.