So an odd thing happened this weekend. Not actually “odd” perhaps more serendipitous. Scouting, advising and writing often times has me scrolling through Facebook and/or Twitter looking for hockey stories and inspirational content. However, sometimes I am on there (like the rest of us) because I am either procrastinating or bored.
As I scrolled through Facebook this weekend, I came across a post from my Uncle Joe. He is not a hockey guy. He likes the sport and watches on occasion but if there is a NASCAR race on, you can bet all your dollars he’s tuned-in to that. What can I say, he loves watching really fast cars turn left. His post of note was not one of his camping adventures, classic muscle cars or bourbon distillery tour favorites. This post was one that he shared from Olympic Fast-pitch Softball Gold Medalist - Jennie Finch.
Altogether, this is not that unusual of a post from my Uncle. As Uncle Joe had once coached my cousins Shannon and Jessica’s youth softball teams. Both of my cousins were elite softball athletes in their own right. My cousin Jessica had even practiced with Jennie Finch, once upon a time.
When I read through Jennie’s post, I knew that I had to share it with all of you. It is not long. It is just her personal thoughts on fearing failure, facing failure and overcoming failure. So Coach Littler is off the hook this week as this week’s message comes via Coach Uncle Joe:
Overcoming a fear of failure is an important part of gaining mental toughness. Fear of failure keeps too many people from taking any risks at all. The pressure to be perfect can lead people to be cautious and prevents them from embracing the moment.
The truth is in sports - and in life - we are going to fail. There is no way around it. You can look at the most accomplished people in the world, and they’ve failed at something at some time. Failure is a part of competition. But it does not define you.
Even the elite players fail seven out of every 10 times they come to the plate. That means even the great players experience twice as much failure as success. You have to be resilient and mentally tough enough to overcome that constant failure, to not give in to it, and to be confident that things are going to change. Overcoming mistakes and setbacks only makes you stronger.
And this applies to every part of life. Keep looking at the positive side of things and don’t give in to the negative. Life is too short. Take risks, embrace failure, and keep pressing forward.
"I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I'm like, 'My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don't have it. I just want to chill.' We all have self-doubt. You don't deny it, but you also don't capitulate to it. You embrace it."
-Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020
Just remember guys, no matter how tough it gets. No matter how many passes get blown. No matter how many times you turn the puck over. No matter how many goals you give up. Keep grinding. Never give in. Don’t let your fear of failure determine your fate. Embrace your faults and obstacles and fortify your game.
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