Plan For Adversity


If you’re a college football fan, you know that Ohio State became the national champion a week ago with a victory over Oregon.


The Buckeyes were the underdog. They were seeded fourth among the four teams selected. Further, they were playing with their third string quarterback.  And, though well experienced by a full season, the team was filled with underclassmen.


Nevertheless, they beat the #1 and the #2 teams.


Much was made of the Buckeyes overcoming adversity. Coach Urban Meyer said his team was “trained for adversity”.


Turns out that Meyer has met an organizational consultant in the off season named Tim Kight. Meyer invited Kight in to train his team on building a culture of resilience. The training was right on time.


In an article in Sports Illustrated, writer Andy Staples described how Ohio State players learned to cope with a bad turn of events. The players were taught three critical steps:


  1. Press Pause. When adversity comes, it’s important to take a breath and assess the situation.


  1. Get Your Mind Right. The adversity creates a new set of circumstances which will require a different strategy or approach. You won’t be ready to move ahead if your mind isn’t properly aligned and focused.


  1. Step Up. You overcome adversity by taking action. You pitch in where you can. You take steps to right the situation. You happen to the world.


The Ohio State team was trained to handle adversity with a process, a checklist, if you like. They moved in unison. They stayed on the same page.

The knowledge inspired confidence.


They were taught that it’s not whether adversity comes it’s when it comes.

And, when it came, they had a plan: pause, get our minds right, step up.


Do you have a plan for adversity? If not, can you make this one work for you?