Calgary, AB – May 12, 2020. After each on-field or on-floor session at ELEV8 Lacrosse, we bring the student-athletes into a “huddle” and discuss topics relative to not only athletics and sports but life. Periodically, we will share with student-athletes and their families pieces on adversity, growth, leadership and mindset, and working through the day to day challenges that life can throw at us.
Failure. The word makes you cringe.
The term “failure” has historically been perceived in a negative context. We have all experienced failure in some capacity. It is the root cause of setbacks in the process of achieving our goals. Failure can put a wrench in our plans, or even worse, completely derail us on our way to the finish line.
As athletes, we are born with a competitive spirit. It provides the fuel for everlasting dedication to our craft. When failure presents itself, we oftentimes feel defeated. Our egos are bruised, confidence shattered. We’re left feeling down and out. It takes many years of practice and patience, and multiple rounds of going through the process of failure to realize the term “failure” itself really means “lessons” in disguise. It merely takes perspective, understanding, dedication, and application of said lessons to see this for oneself.
As mentors and coaches, we share this perspective on failure with student-athletes at ELEV8. During on-field and on-floor sessions, Student-Athletes are encouraged to make mistakes and make adjustments.
Making mistakes and experiencing failure puts individuals into a position of growth through experiential learning. It is an integral part of their development as student-athletes and lacrosse players. In turn, learning how to fail and how to manage the process is what pushes individuals towards becoming successful. Nothing is gained from continuous winning. Individuals need to know how to fail to succeed. Correcting mistakes and growing from failure provides the foundation for success.
Having this perspective of failure in athletics can assist us in our everyday lives. We are always in a state of growth as humans. Being accountable to our growth as individuals allows us to understand that failures are here to help us learn and develop. We should embrace failure and the lessons it presents, rather than fear it. By teaching ourselves to accept defeat, we can focus on areas of improvement to grow as individuals, we come to learn that there are no failures, only lessons.