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Resilience is your ability to bounce back or recover from challenge, disappointment or failure.

Failure is almost never a bad thing; Although it can make you feel like quitting or giving up, you'll find that many Olympians see failure as a critical part of their journey. They know that they need disappointment and bad results sometimes, so that they can learn, and focus on what they need to improve.

Below are strategies you can use when faced with challenges or setbacks:

Make a plan, and stick to it!
Have a long term plan, and when little things go wrong along the way, remind yourself that it’s okay. Having a long term motivation can keep you going on the days when you have a challenge or hit a roadblock. Patience, perseverance and determination will eventually pay off.

Below are some of the qualities of a resilient person. Think about which qualities you think you possess and which ones you could improve on. It’s important to take steps to work on those qualities over time.

  • Sees challenges as opportunities
  • Commits to chasing goals
  • Focuses on what they can control
  • Doesn’t blame themselves or others
  • Is empathetic
  • Thinks positively

As you face challenges of your own today, consider how you can move forward.

  • Are you learning from every disappointment you face?
  • Have you created a long term plan with a big goal that you can stick to? - It doesn’t mean you can’t change your plans along the way. If you have a big overarching goal or long term dream to help motivate you; you can make small changes when you learn more about yourself and what helps you succeed!
  • Having clear goals and expectations: Remind yourself about your long term goal, it will take many highs and lows to reach it, but you have to persevere and you can’t let the failures along the way get you down. If you miss a goal along the way, focus on the things that you can do better

Head to Head promotes mental resilience and physical wellness through Olympian led Youth Mentorship programs and swim clinics. Head to Head swim clinics are led by active and retired Olympic swimmers and each clinic is designed for youth between the ages of 10 and 17 yrs, from all levels of swimming (early competitive to national level). For more information visit or contact