In sport there are a handful of things that flat out get a bad rap, and one of them is failure.
The negative reputation comes because it often manifests in negative ways, like making athletes uncomfortable, unhappy, and frustrated. As a coach, you have a responsibility to tackle this misunderstanding head on in order to help your athletes learn and grow through the adversity.
As a human being and a coach, think back to the times that taught you the most. Those events likely had more to do with failure and adversity than those where you were successful and everything seemed easy. Now that you are armed with this information, it is time to help your players understand the value and purpose of failure.
The key? Perspective.
Failure can seem traumatic, devastating, and like the end of the world to young people who may be experiencing it for the first time, and especially when the stakes are high. Helping your players understand that failure is temporary and provides fantastic feedback is a great introduction to helping them understand how to use it as a training partner.
First help your team re-evaluate their relationship with failure. If the word itself has too negative of a connotation in general, repurpose it! Instead of using the term “failure” moving forward, put a positive spin on it such as an “opportunity to be resilient.”
Next help them recognize that their failure is merely an event, and they are not a failure as a person or athlete. Arm them with strategies found in this and many of the infographics and accompanying blogs to help them exercise a quick bounce back.
Some of your athletes may need help gaining control of their temperament and mannerisms. It is always best to remind them that tomorrow the sun will come up, they will still be playing a game they love, and you still have faith and trust they will be able to adjust for next time.
Photo Credit: NPF, Andy Drabic
Published with permission from believeperformshop.com