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Coach resilience: What it means, why it matters and how to build it


Resilience evokes the promise of something good resulting from misfortune, hope embedded in adversity. Life rarely deals gently with humans on an indefinite basis.

Sooner or later, we all grapple with some harsh issue reviews resilience, defined as an ability to withstand and rebound from disruptive life challenges. The nature, associated attributes and significance of resilience are discussed. A number of suggestions to recover from, and indeed, thrive in the face of adversity are highlighted.


Coaching can be a rewarding and satisfying yet challenging and demanding profession. Invariably coaches will encounter a variety of difficulties during their careers, ranging from daily nuisances to major life events. There are coaches who seem to ‘bounce back’ effectively from negative events or situations, whereas others do not recover and are unable to move on or adapt to the changing demands of stressful experiences. An understanding of why some coaches are able to withstand, and indeed thrive on the pressures they experience can be found in ‘resilience’, a term that depicts an ability to positively adjust to adversity. The purpose of this paper is to examine resilience, its definition, its significance and how coaches might develop and nurture it. An understanding of coach resilience is thought to be very significant given it facilitates recovery and growing from adversity and enhances well-being.


Defining resilience

The word resilience originates from the Latin verb resilire ‘to leap back’ or ‘rebound’ and is defined in the Oxford Dictionary of English as being ‘able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions’.

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