Wapping Hockey Club

Founded 1989

United Kingdom

Positive Resilience in Sport

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The Wapping Ladies 1st team are 0-3 down and it’s not looking good. The opponents have had the upper hand so far, and 55 minutes in, it looks impossible for the home team to win the game.

The crowd at Lee Valley stadium is getting worried. The chants have stopped, and silence falls in the stands.

Then suddenly, something changes.

The team start rallying together, drawing on their vision of winning, maintaining an optimistic outlook, staying calm, and see the rest of the game as an opportunity to thrive and grow rather than a time to fail.

As the final whistle blows, they’ve won.

How can we account for this amazing turn of events?


At every level of sporting competition, athletes demonstrate physical, technical, and tactical skill. However, what consistently sets the higher-level athletes apart from others, is their resilience; Alistair Brownlee helping his exhausted brother across the triathlon finish line, or Manchester United coming back against Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League Final. Research and examples from world-class sports show us that resilience - the ability to persevere and overcome setbacks - is core to peak success in sport. Without this vital trait, athletes are less capable of controlling their emotions, to bounce back from poor performance, and are less able to overcome adversity in the present moment.

But is resilience enough? PeopleWise has been researching this question for nearly a decade and we have demonstrated that resilience, or simply ‘bouncing back’ from adversity, only makes us the survivor of our experiences. Whereas, learning to ‘bounce forward’ enables us to emerge from the other side of our experiences with greater enthusiasm, optimism, and motivation. This we call ‘Positive Resilience’ – the mindset and behaviours that help us not just survive but thrive.

Positive resilience represents the pattern of thinking and behaviour that enables people to thrive, persevere, adapt and grow from uncertainty, adversity, or challenge. Peoplewise’s five factors of Positive Resilience; Purposefulness, Perspective, Control, Connectedness, and Growth, combine to create the ‘base camp’ or ‘reserve’ of your positive resilience resources.

How we face into and respond to the pressures and demands of our world can mean the difference between thriving or just surviving. Harnessed in the right way, pressure and challenge can stimulate, drive performance and enable us to thrive and grow.

Our research and experiences of Positive Resilience have consistently shown the benefits of Positive Resilience interventions in a business context and the principles are equally valid in sport.

And in Hockey, this is no exception.

The recipe is simple:

  1. Create a mindset that embodies the determination, tenacity and self-belief to win whatever the score.
  2. Maintain a positive and optimistic outlook and stay calm and focused no matter the under pressure.
  3. Draw on the collective confidence and connectedness of the team
  4. Reflect afterwards on mistakes made to grow lessons learned

Follow this and you will be the very best hockey team possible.

PeopleWise is enormously proud to be sponsoring the Wapping Ladies First Hockey Team. To help the team realise its full potential, we will be making available to all team members our globally validated assessment, the Positive Resilience Profiler, and providing individual and team reports with development suggestions.

Ahead of that, if in reading this blog you think others, for example at your place of work, may benefit from Positive Resilience, do get in touch. Ask yourself this: when up against a tight deadline do you all pull together and get the job done? Are you able to rely on your professional network to bounce forward? Even in the face of the greatest adversity do your teams find a positive outlook and strive to achieve it?

If you want to understand and build your teams, grow your Positive Resilience and fulfil your potential contact us at letushelp@peoplewise.co.uk and let’s talk!

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