Eric Martin, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and director of the Center for Physical Activity and Sport, was invited to give a keynote address titled “Building Resilience through Creating Facilitative Environments” at the Northwest Student Sport and Exercise Psychology Symposium.
Martin’s speech discussed what resilience is, what it is not and how professionals and educators can create an environment that promotes building resilience.
According to Martin, resilience is being able to adapt to the changes and challenges a person faces, which is crucial for performing well in any context. To foster an environment that supports building resilience, includes creating a psychologically safe environment that balances providing support and introducing challenges for the learner, he said. When learners master their current environment, leaders need to introduce challenges into their environment to help them continue to grow. When a learner feels overwhelmed or struggles, a leader should provide additional support to help the learner cope.
The combination of support and challenges push students and athletes to further for their goals, while having the support and reassurance from their coaches when they need it. It is the coaches job to work with athletes to improve at their game, as well as improving their well being outside of playing.
Martin’s research focuses on motivation, burnout and positive development in youth sports, as well as athlete activism and resilience building in college students both in and out of sports.