The Super Bowl has come and gone with a victor and a loser in the W-L column. The Olympics now loom on the horizon. Each of these competitive events contains elements that can be considered failure at some point. Not taking home a gold medal can be considered a failure . Throwing an interception can be considered as failure. Falling on the ice can be seen as letting down an entire country. Not making the tackle becomes fodder for the armchair quarterback.
As we explore this topic of failure, one of our readers sent in these “Rules of Being Human.” Take a look.
Rule #1: You will learn lessons.
Rule #2: There are no mistakes – only lessons.
Rule #3: A lesson is repeated until it is learned. (Unless you don’t care)
Rule #4: If you don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder.
Rule #5: You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.
Coaches have the responsibility of helping their athletes not only deal with success but also with overcoming failure. This lesson may not be learned best by winning but by helping them see loss as a gain. Is this possible? It is not only possible; it’s a must! Coaches must model this in their own response to a loss or a moment of failure if they expect their athletes to do the same. We all have these points in our lives, yet we continue to judge success based only on wins and losses. One pertinent definition of success is “the favorable or prosperous termination (ending) of an endeavor or attempt.” Does this mean the Indy Colts are failures as coaches and players? Are the New Orleans players and coaches the only successful ones? Is the W-L column the deciding factor here?
The above picture is a powerful statement about how to live life because our failures should not define us. If we are not building our own character as well as helping others build theirs, then we are failing because we are not building something that will last beyond our lifetimes. As humans we were created to represent and live out success in ways that do not show up in the final stats. How are you defining and modeling “success”?