ABSTRACT Introduction: Resilience is a positive psychological characteristic that reflects an individual's capacity to better perceive, deal with, and overcome adversity; the sports environment is replete with adversities, which increase athletes' stress levels and may lead to undesirable outcomes. Objective: To analyze the impact of resilience levels on stress and recovery in athletes. Methods: Subjects were 150 athletes (aged 22.46 ± 5.97) of both sexes (92 men and 58 women) who competed in the 2012 Paraná Open Games in different sports (107 in team and 43 in individual sports). Instruments were the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire (RESTQ-76 Sport) and a resilience questionnaire (CD-RISC-10). The following tests were used for data analysis: Kolmogorov-Smirnov normality test, Spearman Correlation Coefficient and Structural Equation Modelling (SEM). Results: The model significantly explained stress and recovery variability in 20% and 22%, respectively; age-predicted resilience was 11%; the model invariance test indicated a significant influence of sex and type of sport (multi-group analysis). Conclusion: Resilience plays an essential role in coping with and recovering from stress in competitive sports contexts, which is considered a determinant of success. Level of Evidence II; Retrospective study.