How many times have you heard the term ‘bounce back’ when listening to football interviews? It is a cliché that you hear time and time again, but what does it actually mean?

‘Bounce back’ usually refers to resiliency. Resiliency can be described as a positive reaction to adversity, or the ability to use previous negative experiences to be able to adapt to future stressful situations that may arise.

Athletes with a more optimistic outlook would perform better after failure as opposed to an athlete with a more pessimistic outlook. Team resilience is also very important. Team resilience is defined as ‘a dynamic process which protects a group of individuals from the potential negative effects of stressors they collectively encounter.


  • Understanding the meaning of resilience;

  • Understand the causes and signs of stress

  • Understand the techniques to build resilience

Created by

CAIS - Associacao de Solidariedade Social

Length of the session


Number of participants

8 or more

Age of participants

16 - 24


Example of the timeline, projector, speakers, laptop, paper, pencils and booklets.

Required knowledge, skills and preparation of the trainer

Basic facilitator and communication skills.

Session plan

Session plan

Warm-up (5')





First half (20')


• ASK each pair to draw two points on the opposite sides of a piece of paper. One point needs to be labeled ‘Last month’ and the other ‘Today.’
• ASK each pair to write their highs and lows in-between these two points. Provide an example.
• AFTER each pair has completed their timeline, share some of their feedback – when this is happening ask players how they overcame their struggles and low moments.
• EXPLAIN that life is like a rollercoaster there high and low moments – it will be important to enjoy the high moments and in this session and for the rest of your time as a player we are going to look at how to build resilience during the low, difficult and challenging moment.



Second half (30')


• ASK the group what they think resilience is.
• GIVE an overview of what it means and why it is important.
• SHOW an example of resilience in football (https://youtu.be/-YlxjWgJ_wY)
Facilitator notes - At the end of the 2012/2013 season, Leicester lost a playoff semi final versus Watford. Anthony Knockaert missed an injury time penalty, twenty seconds later, Watford went up the other end and scored to earn them a place in the playoff final. However, the next season, Leicester ‘bounced back’ from the difficult end to the previous season, and were crowned champions of the championship, with a club record 102 points. And the player who scored the goal which ultimately got them promoted – Anthony Knockaert.
• ASK the group what they think stress is and what are the causes of stress.
• ASK players to complete the quiz in their booklets
• SHARE feedback – including the following on helpful daily habits.
-Get enough sleep
-Eat healthily and drink enough water
-Talk about your worries
-Make time to relax
-Take part in activities that give you energy rather than take your energy.
-Remember the positives - a good way to do this is to keep a ‘gratitude diary’ and write down at the end of each day three positive things that have happened that day, or three things that you can be thankful for.
-Manage your time well



Third half (15')


• ENCOURAGE each player to maintain their helpful daily habit to build resilience. Ask the group what kind of daily habits they would consider to help build their resilience
• EMPHASISE the importance of resilience
• PLAY the following inspirational resilience video (https://youtu.be/t2G8KVzTwfw)




- Explain the meaning of resilience: In pairs create a timeline that documents the highs and lows in-between two dates. Using this timeline explain how someone can have a positive reaction to adversity, or the ability to use previous negative experiences to be able to adapt to future stressful situations;
- Identify causes and signs of stress: List seven causes of stress and demonstrate personal signs of stress
- Identify methods and techniques to build resilience: Create 10 helpful daily habits to reduce stress and build resilience






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