Adaptability: Applied techniques to build the mental skills associated with adaptability

Mark Stephenson, Naval Special Warfare Development Group, USA

Theme: Novel applications (music, dance, military)

Program ID: SYM-09

Presentation: October 3, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Rosedown


The United States Military has spent considerable resources on exploring and defining the problem and impact of a force that is not adaptable. However, identifying and explaining the problem is only part of the process for organizational change. Like most problems, the next step is to implement actionable training in order to create the most adaptable military force for the 21st century and beyond. Training techniques that are based off of real adaptability demands of the current operational environment are crucial to preparing performers for performing under pressure. By inserting techniques that enhance the eight dimensions of adaptability into training, it creates both tactical and mental skill development. In addition to live scenario based training techniques, military trainers suggest the post training discussions purposefully puts a focus on the thought processes and decisions made surrounding adaptability (Richmond and Roukema, 2007). In essence, all training can be used to develop adaptability in some dimension. This presentation will focus on applied techniques that are used to enhance the mental skills needed for adaptability. While these techniques have been motivated by the operational demands of modern day warfare, they may also be considered when training athletes who must perform under pressure in uncertain environments.

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