Practical Session Ideas

Goal Programme Sessions

Adolescent Girl Life Skill: Coping with trauma and being resilient

General Adolescent Life Skills: Managing Stress

A skill like resiliency, which is generally defined as maintaining effort and interest despite failure and adversity, is likely to help a girl succeed1 on her sport team, at school or in her job despite societal obstacles that prevent adolescent girls from reaching their full potential. This skill is especially important when girls must cope with traumatic events that happen early on in their lives, causing harmful emotional damage, a decrease in self-esteem and even depression. Traumatic events could include being pulled out of school by family, barred from participation in sport or other leisure activities, forced labour at a young age, or any form of gender-based violence.

When girls experience gender-based violence, the physical and emotional impact is lasting and seeps into every sphere of her life. Managing and coping with the stress related to being a survivor of GBV or other forms of trauma is critical to staying resilient and moving on. Girls with this capacity can not only live positive and healthy lives after the trauma but also help other girls who have gone through similar experiences.

Through sport, girls learn to manage stress when playing matches and games or trying out for and learning new positions. Importantly, sport can teach girls not only how to win and celebrate, but also how to lose and try again, emphasising resilience in the face of obstacles and failure. For more information, see International Guide to Addressing Gender-Based Violence Through Sport and our SRHR Guide.


[1] Duckworth, Angela, Peterson, Matthews, Kelly, “Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals