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In The Midst of Adversity and Uncertainty

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Basketball is Psychology XLVIII


A recent study done by the UW Health found that 68% of student-athletes are depressed.

The Mental Health of athletes has taken a toll during this Covid-19 pandemic.

While everyone is busy discussing when athletics will return and what protocols will be put in place to minimize the spread, no one is talking about the mental health of athletes.

For most athletes, playing the game is what brings them joy. Their teammates are like their family, and sports are an escape - it’s how they cope when they’re stressed. With little to no warning, all of that was taken, and it’s still very unclear what the future holds.

How do we make sense of this adversity we are facing? We were already living in the most depressed, anxious, and lonely generation yet - before a global pandemic intensified these problems. Nothing about this year seems to be going according to plan. We are all off-roading. Collectively, this is arguably the hardest year in human history. How do you think productively? How do you stay mentally healthy? How do you find joy?

Successful people and unsuccessful people all have one thing in common: they face adversity.

Everyone faces adversity. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people embrace adversity.

Walt Disney was told he was not creative enough and had no good ideas.

Oprah Winfrey was told she was not cut out for television and was fired for getting too emotionally invested in her stories.

Einstein did not speak until he was four years old.

Michael Jordan and Bob Cousy were both cut from their high school basketball team.

Bill Walsh didn’t win a single game in his first season as an NFL Head Coach.

Beethoven was told he was hopeless as a composer.

Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at the age of 10.

Professional surfer, Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark.

Thomas Edison had around 10,000 failed attempts when trying to invent the light bulb.

These people did not simply endure the adversity, they embraced it. These people became successful not in spite of the adversity they faced, but because of the adversity they faced. Adversity brings something out of us that ease never could.

This does not mean what you are going through is not hard. Of course it’s hard. It’s okay to be sad when you hit adversity, but don’t get stuck.

The Art Of Embracing Adversity is the book every athlete needs right now.

This book is meant to serve as a guide to living a meaningful life in the midst of losses, setbacks, and uncertainty. It’s available now on Amazon in e-book and paperback format.

Adversity is Your Boll Weevil

In the town of Enterprise, Alabama, there is a boll weevil monument. Boll weevils are pesky beetles known for destroying cotton. In the early 1900’s, the town of Enterprise, Alabama had their cotton crop devastated by the boll weevils. The economy of the small town was quickly spiraling downward thanks to the boll weevils.

A few farmers had tried planting a small amount of peanuts, but they weren’t a huge hit, so they didn’t stick with the peanuts for long. One farmer, however, was in a lot of debt. He could not afford another season of the boll weevils destroying his cotton. His banker told him he had to plant peanuts. He didn’t have a choice, so he planted only peanuts and stuck with it. As a result, he had a great year. He did so well, everyone else in the town started planting peanuts. In 1917, Coffee County sold over 5 million dollars worth of peanuts. By 1919, they were the largest peanut producing county in the United States. The economy in Enterprise was thriving. The entire town was so grateful that their economy had been saved, thanks to the boll weevils.

But why a boll weevil monument? For years the boll weevils had destroyed so much cotton and cost the farmers lots of money. If it was not for the boll weevils, the farmers would have never gone looking for a better cash crop. Thanks to the boll weevils, the farmers were doing better than ever. The adverse situation made them re-evaluate and find a better way to do things. Without the boll weevils, Enterprise, Alabama would have stayed a mediocre cotton producing town. They wouldn’t be the largest peanut producing county if it wasn’t for the boll weevils. The boll weevils were the best thing that could have possibly happened.

Adversity is your boll weevil. What if the adverse situation you are facing will lead you to discover and become a better version of yourself? When you start looking at adversity from this perspective, you won’t want to hide from it, you’ll want to build a monument out of appreciation for it.

“Victorious is the person who knows how to make stepping stones out of stumbling stones.”

- John C. Maxwell


Written by Julie Fournier

Founder & CEO of Basketball is Psychology



The Art Of Embracing Adversity is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book format.


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