Imagine if you were the coach who, because of your positive response to mistakes or failures, inspired a young man or women to go on to be the next successful person who changes the world?
The sad reality is that there are a higher percentage of kids who are afraid to fail than I have seen in 12 years of working with youth.
I know this because there are fewer student-athletes than ever before who want to be pushed, challenged, taken beyond (even slightly) what they are comfortable with.
Fear of failing is a learned behavior.
It is occasionally rooted in the fear of embarrassment that stems from being made fun of or witnessing others who were ridiculed or judged harshly for falling short.
However, it is most often a response to a coach's/boss's/teacher's/leader's overreactions to an unsuccessful attempt at something.
How do we fix it?
1. Celebrate, recognize, and even reward unsuccessful attempts equally as much as successful ones
2. Share stories of people who failed over and over again before succeeding
3. Demonstrate it, be an example of a risk taker who consistently seeks to step outside of your own comfort zone (and then be kind to yourself when you fail)
4. Challenge them anyway, but make sure to verbally, physically, and emotionally pick them back up and dust them off with love
5. Change your own belief about making mistakes, failing, and falling short. Your reactions are a reflection of your beliefs about failure!
Dedicated to our youth's success on and off the field,
Coach Andrew Simpson