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Building Grit

The importance of Sports in Developing Grit

Emotional Well-being is defined as a positive sense of well-being that enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life. People with good emotional well-being can recover from illness, change, or misfortune; also known as mental toughness. Mental toughness is a measure of individual resilience and confidence that may predict success in sport, education and the workplace. Live Grit SOARS calls this grit.

There are two key components of grit in sports, willingness, and optimism. Willingness refers to how likely you are to endure, whether that’s accepting intensity on a physical level, or being determined to maintain your effort across a given time or distance. Willingness is having the self-determination to stay in the experience without backing down or giving up. People are more willing to tolerate a hard effort if it means they will finally accomplish their goal. Optimism, on the other hand, is a positive belief about a future state or desired outcome. It is bridging the gap between what we are currently doing and how that relates to achieving our goals.

Participating in sports can help build Grit by teaching:

1. Goal-oriented mindset

2. Personal responsibility

3. Self-discipline

4. Teamwork

5. Positive Thinking

6. The ability to learn Overcoming adversity

7. To stay physically healthy which also improves emotional well-being

Live Grit SOARS uses sports, specifically the sport of triathlon to build grit in the young people of Chicago. Using five core values; effort, accountability, teamwork, leadership and most importantly grit; athletes learn to incorporate these skills on the racecourse and also in everyday life.

Founder Gillian Fealy is quoted saying, “My hope is that when they cross that finish line that they have one of those moments that anything is possible, that they can do anything when they put in the hard work when they overcome obstacles. And I hope that this is an experience that gives them that feeling so they can take that into the rest of their lives.”

Live Grit SOARS has one goal: to give young people tools that will help improve their well-being, making them mentally tough, so they can overcome any obstacle and achieve their goals.

Written By

Laura Cayce DC, MS

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