Cultivating a Desire to Succeed with No Fear of Failure

It is football time again and it could not come fast enough.

This is new for me, because as a kid, I loved baseball.  I loved to play it.  I loved to watch it.  I lived for the evening when I could watch the Braves on T.V.

But I am not like that anymore.  I don’t know why, but now I cannot stand to watch baseball.  It seems so slow.  It seems so—dare I say—boring.  Hence, the long season between football seasons means there are long stretches with nothing to watch and no team to cheer on to victory, a fact only intensified by COVID 19.

But the wait is almost over and football is back.  As I thought about the beginning of the season, a short video clip I heard last year came to mind.  It was speech given by Scott Frost, the coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He was explaining to the media why his coaches do not scream or cuss at players like so coaches many do.  He avoids this, because believes is ultimately is counter-productive to effectiveness.   He said if a coach was constantly chewing a player out for mistakes, that player would play to avoid mistakes.  And if they play only to avoid mistakes, they miss the opportunity to go and make a great play.  He continued:

One of our sayings is ‘have a desire to succeed and no fear of failure.’ And part of that is the coach’s responsibility. I mentioned that we’re not going to yell and scream at kids, we’re not going cuss at kids… I don’t think that’s the right thing to do and I also don’t want to make kids afraid to go make a great play.

A little later he elaborated:

“If someone misses a tackle or drops a ball, they don’t need to be yelled at, they need to be taught the right way to do it so it doesn’t happen again. Once you take away that fear of what might happen if you make a bad play, it really frees you up to go make great plays. I always want our team to play with a desire to succeed and no fear of failure.”

I think he is right.  After all, it was God who says we should count it all joy when we experience trails.  Why?  Because the testing of our faith is the training ground for growing character (James 1:1-4).  We learn, grow, mature, and improve through failure.  That is why, as a parent, I would rather have my child try, fail, be coached, and try again, because the fear of failure will rob them of the experience of trying and eventually succeeding.

That is why we at CLA do not apologize for offering a rigorous education.  We do not shrink back from have high behavior expectations.  We don’t want to live a life in fear of failure.  Instead we want to cultivate a desire to succeed with no fear of failure both on and off the field.