Being adaptable and flexible means being able to adapt your strategies, tactics, and attitudes to reflect different environments and changing circumstances in training and in competitive play. Athletes need to be able, for example, to adapt to changes in playing surfaces, the crowd environment, climate, weather extremes, and altitude. Athletes also need to be able to manage opportunities and challenges during play with the right emotions in order to perform successfully. Examples of challenges during play are when a player is injured, substituted or sent off, when there are penalty shoot-outs or when the probability of winning or losing changes. Top golfers talk about how important it is to learn how to win by staying patient, taking one shot at a time and being flexible and adaptable. The experience of winning shows you how to cope with the pressure on Sunday when you are at the top of the leaderboard, and you can see that you have a good chance of winning. Athletes can also face challenges arising from physical injury and/or illness, conflict in the team, and challenges in their private lives. The ability to be flexible and adaptable is important in all these situations.

Adaptability Tips
1 How open are you to advice and support from others about how to develop your skills and improve your performance, for example, your coach, fellow team mates, and sport commentators?
2 How capable are you of handling your emotions during competitive play when things start to change and the pressure increases?
3 Have you reviewed situations where things did not go to plan during competitive play and thought about how you would handle them differently in the future?
4 Have you tried approaching issues and problems facing you and/or your team from angles that are as far as possible from the ways you have approached them in the past?
5 Have you demonstrated to yourself, your coach, and other players that you are able to adapt your behavior to different scenarios in order to play well and compete successfully?
6 How confident are you that you have the ability to adapt your strategies and tactics to cope with high pressure situations in competitions?

What experts say

The mark of a great player is in his ability to come back. The great champions have all come back from defeat.

Sam Snead Golfer

I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat.

Tom Landry American Football Player

Do the SPQ20 and find out how adaptable you are