161 – Dr. Mustafa Sarkar | Resilience in Sport

Dr Mustafa Sarkar is an Associate Professor of Sport and Performance Psychology at Nottingham Trent University. His research addresses the psychology of performance excellence with a particular focus on resilience, psychological safety, and mental health.

Expect to learn, what resilience is and what it is not, the difference between resilience and mental toughness, how to build resilience, the cost of not facing challenge, how to create resilience within teams, creating environments to develop resilience, and much more.



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[00:00] Introduction

[02:03] Learning to Leg Spin Bowl

[05:51] Lowest Point in Mustafa’s Early Career

[10:01] Mustafa’s Journey to Sports Psychology 

[13:49] The Lack of Research in Sports Resilience

[15:55] What is Resilience in Sports?

[19:36] The Difference Between Resilience and Mental Toughness

[21:57] Do Today’s Young Athletes Lack Resilience?

[24:03] Why You Need to Ensure You’re Not Spoon Feeding Your Kids

[28:34] Resilience in Different Fields and Different Contexts

[33:24] The 3 Main Components of Resilience Development 

[39:47] The Role of Humor in a Team Setting  

[43:00] Personality Traits of Resilient People

[48:25] The Challenge-Support Matrix

[52:18] What is an Unrelenting Environment

[55:51] How the British Gymnastics Team Develops Resilience 

[59:27] The Benefits of Being Held Accountable

[01:02:25] What a Comfortable Environment Looks Like 

[01:05:20] Using Pressure Training to Build Resilience

[01:09:08] Why Athletes Need Some Pressure to be Successful

[01:12:47] The Best Performance Preparation Model

[01:16:33] Understanding Physical and Psychological Fatigue

[01:19:23] Mustafa’s Go-To Resource Recommendations

[01:22:22] Parting Thoughts 



Coming soon…