Fearing Failure Is Holding You Back
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to become great.”
This is a quote that I have on a sticky note in several places – my planner, the bottom of my computer monitor at work, and my bathroom mirror at home. Why? A constant reminder to not be afraid to try things that I may not be the best at or may not have tried yet. Not being skilled at something means you have nothing to lose by trying to learn it, because there isn’t any expectation of you yet. When it comes to cheer this is especially true.
Lately, I have found myself trying to explain to a multitude of athletes that failure is okay. Now before you take that sentence and run with it, allow me to explain. There are three types of failure:
- Not Trying – You fail yourself (and your team) when you don’t even attempt to learn a new skill. By not even attempting to evolve and become a better athlete, you consequently are forcing your team to pick up Yes, that is what teammates are for but that’s in cases like injury or having a rough day. But it is unfair when you don’t even attempt to help your team from the beginning. (This is the reason that when you don’t even attempt a drill, I give you burpees)
- Failure While Learning – This is when you are learning a new skill. Failure at this stage includes things like falling, face planting, bobbling, frustration, and even some It may not feel great, but it doesn’t mean you are doing bad. It simply shows the work you are putting in.
- Failure After Mastery – This is when you are known to have a skill, but happen to not perform it correctly or at An example of this is, you can do a BHS Tuck during practice, but then when it is time to do a full out or compete it you fall or don’t throw it.
Failing at stage two is completely acceptable, because it shows dedication and eﬀort to learning a new skill and better your team. Practice is the perfect place to make mistakes or “fall”. Your teammates are the perfect people to make these mistakes in front of. They have all been through the same thing, whether you were there for that part of their journey or not. So I urge you to stop being afraid of failure and embrace the journey that comes with it. Instant gratification applies to social media, not real life. No matter what aspect or stage in your life you’re in, there will be times that you will fail repeatedly and have to find a way to push through without quitting. I urge you to use cheer as a way to prepare on how to handle that now as it is significantly easier to learn this ability as a child than an adult.
– Coach Domm