Embrace the Struggle

11750719_789185011195402_1558183859778187173_nAfter our recent battle and loss to the Texans I made a comment during the post-game talk that some may have thought was odd. I mentioned to Cole that I was glad he got to experience being the last out of a tournament. I told him Noah has been that guy twice this season and I’m glad he got to be that guy as well. In all three instances the go ahead run was on but they didn’t get a hit. Instead we lost and the loss eliminated us from the tournament.

Here’s what I meant. Life, like baseball, has a way of punching you in the mouth. Life and baseball are hard and filled with struggle and failure. The ability to deal with struggle and failure in a healthy way is an enormous advantage. In the words of John C. Maxwell, “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”

To reach a high level in anything – baseball, business, education – you will have to deal with struggle and failure along the way. If you cannot handle struggle and failure, then you will never be as good as you could be. Struggle is part of the process; a necessary part of the process. To borrow a line from Geoff Colvin’s book Talent is Overrated; “Landing on your butt twenty thousand times is where great performance comes from.”

This topic of a healthy outlook on struggle and failure is what world renowned Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has been exploring for years. This episode of the Wining Youth Coaching podcast provides some context. About 14:00 in they begin discussing Carol Dweck’s work on Mindset. Check it out. It’s important!

Also, parents and coaches, if you haven’t already pick up a copy of Carol Dweck’s book Mindset do so now, it’s a must read in my mind. It will help you help your athlete become a special player. For more on mindset check out my Growth Mindset post.