The other day I was talking to a friend who had just been cut from his high school basketball summer team, for him it seemed like the end of the world. For me I thought that it was the best thing that could have happened to him. When athletes are stuck in their ways and comfortable in their abilities, any type of failure seems detrimental to who they are as an athlete. For me this was a great opportunity for him to go outside of the minimal that he was requiring of himself and dig deep. In his head he thinks he has already failed and that any effort to improve is instantly a waste of time.
He is very lucky that his family believes in his ability because they have filled his summer with camps all over the country that will allow for him to improve his skills. Before every camp I asked if he is ready and of course says he is but his body language tells me that he already feels like it is a waste of time and that he is not open to the experience.
To get better we all have to be open to the experience, be open to suggestions, to change and welcome failures and down points with open arms. The reality is as athletes we all have failures, whether it be being cut from the team, missing a pass, missing the game winning shot or letting a penalty kick go we have to take it as a learning experience. No one is perfect all the time and at some point everyone will fail. We cannot let our failures discourage us from trying again but must rather let it be the driving force that pushes us to continually try for improvements. What most athletes forget is that we are students of the game and that there is always something that we can work on and improve on but we have to be open to taking the steps to advance. What we know and what we can do now is not the limit to our talent and if we are not willing to be students of our game than we will never be able to rise to our full potential.
When you’re in school do you wait until you fail to start studying for the test or do you constantly study and review so that when the test comes you are prepared? The successful students are constantly doing the work as for the other students it usually only takes one”F” for them to change their study habits. It is the exact same thing with sports. We are all students of the game.
Instead of letting the failures we face cause anxiety and deter us from trying we must learn from it. The moment you accept failures is the moment we accept defeat. We must all use those failures no matter how small or big they are as a lesson. We must study our mistakes and practice for improvements so that the next time we face the test we can accomplish more than we could have imagined.