The Courage to Fail

Dr. Adrienne Leslie-Toogood, Director of Sport Psychology

It is easy to lose perspective when we invest so much time into our sport.  This time is an opportunity to develop other parts of your identity. Find something else that you enjoy doing or hone a skill that you have not had time to develop in the past.  Waneek Horn Miller spoke of a conversation she had with Billy Mills, who won the 10,000 meter race at the Olympic games. The end of his race is known to be one of the most impressive and gutsy finishes in the history of his sport.  Waneek asked Billy how he had the courage to finish in this way. He said that most athletes invest 98% of themselves into a race and they save the extra 2% in case they fail, to put themselves back together again. But Billy said he was able to invest all 100% because he knew that if he crashed and burned, his community would help life him up again.  When we have perspective and we know that who we are is more than our sport, it enables us to invest all of ourselves into what we do; and it allows us to see what our true potential is. Thank you to Matthew Lehman, Table Tennis, for reminding us of this powerful lesson.