the rack front door

Something everyone should experience in their lifetime is failure. I am not saying that I want

everyone to fail, but I am saying that failure is necessary. Personally I have fallen short many

times whether that be in sports, school or work. When I was younger I would have let failure eat

me alive, but now I use defeat as a learning tool.


I have been working with kids for a long time and one thing I love to observe is how a student

handles themselves when they lose. I do not put kids in situations where I want them to lose,

but when playing a sport or taking a test there’s a chance that they might lose or fail. Depending

on the age and person reactions are always different. With younger kids (ages 4-8) I typically

see crying and visible frustration. With the older students (9-14), there is definitely some

frustration, but they are more controlled in their reactions. They also do a better job of bouncing

back. Not all, but most. That is what I want people to learn at a young age through sports and

training, so they know how to handle failure in the future.


Here are some helpful tools

– Keep your emotions in check. Don’t overreact. Sometimes we might react on emotion, and

when that happens we can become irrational.

– Figure out what mistakes you made. If you can recognize where you went wrong you can

make adjustments.

– Self talk. If there is another opportunity for you to be successful, talk yourself through the

situation to give yourself some motivation. Example: “you got this”, “you can do it”.

– Have a growth mindset. Tell yourself, ok I didn’t get this time, but next time I will do better.

– Don’t take yourself too seriously. We all make mistakes and just because plan A didn't work

out, plan B might be the opportunity to get you to where you need to go.

Spencer Haywoods

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