Starting a New Year, 2014 Opens Up the Path to New Possibilities.

New Dreams, New Goals and New Learning Opportunities.

At the KeNako Academy skills are acquired that will not only help the students on the golf course but also in their lives in general.  During Mental Skills we address different topics each term. This year we kicked off with a world known term: Resilience!!

What is resilience?  In the physical sciences, materials and objects are termed resilient if they resume their original shape upon being bent or stretched.  In people, resilience refers to the ability to bounce back after encountering difficulty.  The American Psychological Association defines it as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and even significant sources of stress, such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stresses.

Resilient people tend to be lifelong learners, continually seeking opportunities to become more mentally fit.

What will help me to become more Resilient?

  1. Confront your fears.
  2. Maintain an optimistic but realistic outlook.
  3. Sought and accepted social support.
  4. Imitate sturdy role models.
  5. Rely on your own inner moral compass.
  6. Turn to religious or spiritual practices.
  7. Accept that that you cannot change.
  8. Attend to your health and well being, training intensively to stay physically fit, mentally sharp and emotionally strong.
  9. Active problem solvers looking for meaning and opportunity in the midst of adversity and sometimes even finding humour in the darkness.
  10. Accept responsibility for your own emotional well being and use your traumatic experience as a platform for personal growth.


During the first month of 2014 we have concentrated on Confronting one’s fears:

The late Mr. Nelson Mandela said “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it”.

The process of overcoming a learned fear is called extinction. How do I address and change my fears?

  • Expose the person to the fear in a safe environment, for the brain to form a new memory which conveys that the fear conditioned stimulus is no longer dangerous in the present environment. The following tegniques will help you to master this:
  1. Imagination;
  2. eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR);
  3. cognitive processing therapy (CPT)  – focus on more realistic conclusions;
  4. Be aware of unconsciously associations
  • Feeling fear is only human- feeling fear is largely  a chemical reaction.
  • Don’t let fear hang around to long – chronic stress and fear can wear you down mentally and physically. Chronic fear is counterproductive. Damage to either the PFC and Hippocampus in the brain can make it more difficult to shut off the fear response.
  • Practical applications: – Some people only focus on thinking, while others focus on behaviours. It is important to address both.
  1. View fear as a guide- keep focus on your goals and missions; it can sharpen your focus and decision making. Watch out for the “fog of war” (stress related loss of mental clarity and rational decision making).
  2. View fear as an opportunity- this can make you stronger.
  3. Focus on the goal or mission.
  4. Find as much information as possible about what is feared.
  5. Learning and practicing the skills necessary to face the fear, will help you to develop a plan and a back- up plan.
  6. Confronting fear in the company of a friend or colleague.
  7. Face the fear with spiritual presence whenever possible.  Meditation is very helpful here. Every time your fear is invited up, every time you recognize it and smile at it, your fear will lose some of its strength.
  8. Get someone to push you.  Take a calculated leap of faith.

The bottom line, the best way around fear is through it.  To conquer fear one must face fear.  That’s what resilient people do.

Mariette Le Roux