The Resiliency of David Beckham

Merriam-Webster defined resilience as; 1. the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress 2. an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.

Material physics defined resilience as the ability of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically, and release that energy upon unloading.

The area under the linear portion of a stress-strain curve is the resilience of the material.

In psychology, resilience can be defined as an individual’s ability to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or simply not showing negative effects. A third, more controversial form of resilience is sometimes referred to as ‘post-traumatic growth‘ or ‘steerling effects‘ where in the experience adversity leads to better functioning (much like an inoculation gives one the capacity to cope well with future exposure to disease). Resilience is most commonly understood as a process, and not a trait of an individual.

As story portrays an example better than fancy compositions of words (per above), lets look at a story, The Resilience of David Beckham.

During FIFA World Cup 1998, England was sent off in the second round by Argentina, losing on penalty shootout after a 2-2 draw. David Beckham received a red card in the game, makes him the center of the blame, the villain, by England’s supporter. It was reported that an effigy of him was hung outside of a London pub, the Daily Mirror printing a dartboard with his picture at the center of the bullseye and he’s receiving death threats after the World Cup.

The abuse that Beckham was receiving from English supporters peaked during England’s 3-2 defeat by Portugal in Euro 2000, a match where Beckham set up two goals, when a group of England supporters taunted him throughout the match. Beckham responded by raising his middle finger and, while the gesture attracted some criticism, many of the newspapers that had previously encouraged his vilification asked their readers to stop abusing him.

For a person, having the whole nation against you can be something scary, leading to stress that may break the soul into pieces, ones may doom towards depression, falling out. Although you’re a professional footballer who receive big paycheck, social stress can’t be cured by only money.

However, by 2000, Beckham was promoted to team captain, helping England to qualify the 2002 World Cup finals, including an impressive 5-1 victory over Germany. The final step in Beckham’s conversion from villain to hero happened in England’s 2-2 draw against Greece. England needed to win or draw the match in order to qualify for the World Cup, but were losing 2-1 with little time remaining. During the whole game Beckham fall many times, running in and out, trying to ensure England’s victory. Approaching the final whistle, an opportunity comes, where England were awarded a free-kick and Beckham ensured England’s qualification with a curling strike.

That goal shook the country. That feeling was better than an orgasm. He has managed to turn the page and be a national hero. That is the third controversial form of resilience (as stated above), experience adversity leads to better functioning.

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Posted on October 8, 2012, in Theory and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Adversity really can lead to resilience. My life is a testiment to this fact!

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