“There’s nothing in life I’ve failed in that I’ve achieved nothing from”
Failure or making mistakes are stages in life we all go through and can have a great affect on our lives. In my opinion it’s not the actual mistake that could potentially drive us down, but the reaction to it. We’ve all had that time when something fails and a door is closed. Sometimes another opens right away but we might miss it because of the large amount of time wasted on recovering from that last closed door. The time is key between that closed door and seeing the next open one. I just realised that through this initial paragraph, I haven’t written anything about failure full stop with no continuance… It’s all about “Positive Thinking” (another article I wrote)
One of my experiences of failure came from a National League American Football Game (UK). It was at the National League Final, we trained all season for this and wanted bring the championship home. I was playing on defence at Strong Safety and I was pumped, everyone’s ready!
We get the opportunity we’ve been looking for to get the ball back to give us a chance to attack and I made a big mistake on the play ending in the opposing team keeping the ball and in better position down field. I remember feeling so frustrated, not so much for myself but for my team mates on such a big day! At that point there was nothing I could do accept take it on the chin.
I got to the sidelines and coach said “Shake that one off Max and stay in the game, we need you today”. This is where the challenge comes because one thing about sports and life is that no matter how you feel, the game and life won’t stop for anybody, and if you're not prepared it will eat you up and spit you back out once its done with you. Anyway back to the story, I was feeling real nervous and I wanted nothing more to do with the failure of the team, especially today. As these thoughts were running through my head I get a knock on helmet from my team mate “Come on! Let’s go we’re up!” I had to make a choice to shake it off and cope the best I can like a winded fighter after taking a body punch hanging in there, trying to survive the round. I tried my best not to psyche myself out of the game and give up there and then.
Halftime! The game is real tight at this point and its time for everyone to be on point, I started feeling better as the game went on and started to gain back some self confidence. My team still needed everybody’s hearts in the game, I felt it in the locker rooms ambience.
Fourth quarter and the game is still tight. The opposing quarterback had started throwing a lot more passes due to pressure we gave him with our random Blitz attacks. We huddled calling the defensive play and in unison we shouted “Break!”. We were feeling the opposition breaking slowly as we took our positions.
“Set… hut!” the ball is snapped, “He’s going to pass” was running through my mind again and again. I anticipated movement as I was trained to do and the quarterback passes the ball in the air towards one of the players I was assigned to. I’m tailing the receiver’s route just thinking “Ball-Man, Ball-Man” and with a leap I caught the ball. “Interception!” my team’s side line moving their hands toward where I should run shouting “GO, GO, GO!" Everything was moving so fast, with my team mates getting in position to block for me as I advance up the field. I got to the sideline safely bringing my team back the ball, gained great yards and that ended up being the only interception of the game. We won that game and took home the championship that day. I was so happy! I learnt so much about life that day and it gave me a foundation for the future.
Taking failure lying down is a bigger risk than taking it standing up. You just never know when the next door is knocking. Keep spirits high and buckle in for the ride.