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MP4P – Mental Practice For Performance

RICHMOND, VA – Scott Rohlwing created MP4P to address what he saw as the lack of emotional intelligence and performance psychology instruction for adolescents in both athletic and academic environments. “As a society, we’ve become so busy that tasks supersede just about everything. Many people are growing up not understanding Emotional Intelligence, relationship skills, coping skills, and mental strategies,” Rohlwing told the JWF. “I thoroughly believe that emotions are extremely important and the more we are educated on emotions, the more aware we are, and the more we can manage emotions, the better performers we will become and ultimately, better people. Embrace your emotion, acknowledge it, enhance it.”

Rohlwing is currently teaching a Mental Performance course to adults at the University of Richmond’s School of Professional and Continuing Studies. In this course his students explore the ideas of Emotional Intelligence and Performance Psychology through learning principles such as Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, Using Adversity, Making Smaller Circles, Downward Spiral, Stress and Recovery, and Power of Presence.

He is further developing the MP4P program with a local volleyball club, and plans to expand to a variety of youth programs such as gymnastics, soccer, and football. Ultimately, he hopes to expand to offering elective courses in middle schools and high schools through mobile learning and online micro-lessons.

Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture – various schools

New York, NY – Lu Chihlan teaches a Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture course at Manhattan High School for Girls and in an afterschool class for kindergarten through fifth grade students at PS 3, is a Culture Workshop Instructor for elementary students at the China Institute, and a tutor for the Chinese Flagship Program at Hunter College. In addition, she is actively involved in the campaign to develop a community middle school within her home district.

Chihlan explained her desire to bring The Art of Learning principles to all of her students because of the powerful impact the book had on her when she first read it. “After my son’s teacher showed me this book, lots of puzzle pieces came together for me in understanding the power of inter-disciplinary studies and the process from knowledge input to internalization, through interconnection to creative output and performance.”

In her high school course, Chihlan uses the Resilience module, with a specific focus on Beginner’s Mind and Using Adversity, to support her students in exploring their interests in Asian culture and preparing them to be global citizens. She incorporates principles such as Investment in Loss and Value Process Before Results through in-class review and reflection on drafts of project assignments.

With her younger students, Chihlan weaves Beginner’s Mind into their Chinese language instruction. “I take them to a garden nearby and take advantage of the environment where they are relaxed and comfortable while teaching concepts like colors and flowers and nature in Chinese, turning the language challenge into excitement and inspiration. Our project-based curriculum also allows us to practice Using Adversity in the process.”

ONE Boulder Fitness

BOULDER, CO – Jessica Reiss, the Personal Training Director at ONE Boulder Fitness, supervises a staff of 13 personal trainers.  In her role as director, Reiss is interested in providing her trainers with the space to utilize their own creativity while supporting them in drawing on all of their strengths to provide their clientele with the best possible fitness experience.

She plans to have all of her trainers read The Art of Learning and to provide active workshops in which they practice the learning principles through movements. The team will then identify specific learning principles to incorporate into their training, such as how Making Smaller Circles by focusing on one area of the body with depth and intensity can help a person develop the tools to improve strength overall.
“In asking important questions like how to look inward, the internal growth will allow them to shine brighter for their clients,” Reiss says.  “I want to lead them into self discovery to become safely vulnerable in front of their clients to allow dialogue and relationship building.”
Reiss is particularly drawn to the concepts of Investment in Loss and Using Adversity within the realm of physical fitness.  “People get caught up with failures, which feel very real when experienced in the form of physical pain and discomfort. They don’t utilize these interpreted expressions of failure as part of success.  These failures diffuse them.  We have to see the value and the effort, not the outcome.”
With both her trainers and her personal clients, Reiss is interested in exploring the relationship between physical and emotional responses to adversity.  She plans to incorporate visualization and meditative breathing to help her staff and clientele create positive habits in one area of their lives in order to positively affect the whole.

Lehman College, CUNY

BRONX, NY – Dr. Christy Folsom is an associate professor in the Childhood Education Department of Lehman College, City University of New York.   Her academic focus is on the intellectual and emotional infrastructure of teaching and learning, project-based learning that includes self-organization skill, transfer of learning from coursework to P-12 classrooms, and change in teacher thinking and practice evidenced in student performance. In addition, she developed Teaching for Intellectual and Emotional Learning (TIEL), a powerful curriculum planning tool for teachers.

While planning her undergraduate course entitled “The Art and Science of Learning and Teaching”, Dr. Folsom contacted the JW Foundation with an interest in participating in our book donation program.  “In this course, we will explore scientific aspects of how we learn as well as how learning can be an art.  Understanding learning as a science and as an art can have a profound impact on how we teach,” Folsom explains.  She plans to use examples from The Art of Learning and Resilience based principles such as Value Process Before Results, Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, and Using Adversity to illustrate the importance of teaching for intellectual learning in conjunction with emotional learning.

“How do you learn something and stick with it long enough to master it?” Dr. Folsom asks.  “Yes, Josh had a gift for chess, but with tai chi it seems that he had to work so much more.”  She believes Josh’s learning journey is a wonderful illustration of the wide range of learning, both social/emotional and cognitive/intellectual, and the necessity for struggle that must be addressed in the classroom in order to provide students with the complex learning experiences they need to succeed in the twenty-first century.

Jack Schore Tennis

Viewtown, VA – Jack Schore, is the Founder and Director of Jack Schore Tennis – a program that serves 700-800 young tennis players per week in the Washington DC area, ranging in age from 4-18 years old. Coach Schore approached the JW Foundation with an interest in integrating the Art of Learning principles into his coaching in order to build awareness in his athletes and help them develop a feeling of “being in the present.” He explains, “Tennis won’t be the end all be all for most of these players. In the micro, The Art of Learning principles will help their game, but I want them to use what they learn to enhance their lives in the bigger picture.”

He will work with his most competitive players on the concepts of Beginner’s Mind and developing a growth mindset, Investment in Loss, the Power of Presence, and the Downward Spiral. He will include meditative breath work, stress and recovery interval training, and kinesthetically introspective self-evaluation into each practice in order to help his athletes develop the skills of calming the mind and being in the present as well as learning to trust their “inner voice” to improve their game. He then hopes to coordinate a program with four sports facilities and the 40 coaches he has working with his beginning and intermediate players, that will focus on building resilience through the principles of Valuing Process Before Results, Investment in Loss, Beginner’s Mind, Using Adversity, and the Internal Solution.

ACE Charter Middle School

San Jose, CA – Adisa Banjoko, founder of the Hip Hop Chess Federation, is bringing the HHCF methodology to this charter middle school in the California Bay Area.  Through his position as a chess instructor and physical education teacher, Banjoko  plans to teach his students skills and strategies that will not only help them play chess and succeed academically, but to make positive choices in their lives in general.  “Teaching chess to kids after age 16 is intervention for a lot of violence,” Banjoko explains.  “Chess for kids before or by 13 is prevention.  If you get them to understand even these basic ideas, that they have to make sacrifices, weigh risks, and strategize, they’re ahead of the game and start to think about not getting involved with things dealing with gangs and drugs”

After an initial immersion in the process of how the game of chess works, Banjoko will begin to introduce The Art of Learning principles to his students.  Through concepts such as Investment in Loss, Using Adversity, and Numbers to Leave Numbers, the students will begin to develop a more resilient and growth oriented relationship to learning and facing challenges.  In addition, Banjoko will incorporate these same principles into his physical education instruction so that his students have the opportunity to experience both the physical and intellectual applications of the concepts.