How Do We Treat Failures?

The whole nation is debating why Indian players are not able to perform well in the Olympics stage. We see this topic moves around a lot of frustration, emotions, blaming on our infrastructure and the support that government offers to develop players in India and the list goes on and on.

While this is a very important topic that should be discussed and worked upon together as a nation for the benefit of future generations, there is also an important point we should not miss: An important phase in every player’s life; How do we teach to treat failures from the early stages of life?

Encourage the experience, not just the results:

Most of the times we see only two sides of the game, the losers and winners.Winners bring glory and losers (who cares?)

The first lesson perhaps that should be taught is ‘Failing is OK and it is acceptable’ from the schools itself. Why don’t we tell the hardship stories from the journey of our great heroes or champions when we adore their successes?

There is no denial that the spirit of winning is very essential but most of the times we are so stressed about the end of the game and we don’t really enjoy those moments and miss to have fun. The experience and participation are much more important than winning and that should be encouraged in order to develop confidence among the players.

Failure is no-big deal:

There was a study conducted by National Institute of Education of Singapore. The objective was to find the easiest way to teach kids Mathematics. One set of kids were given problems and were guided by teachers through the solution; The another set were given a problem to solve themselves with only instructions but without teachers’ guidance.During the observation the second set of students struggled a lot which was obvious.

The study concluded after a few days and it was found that the kids who were encouraged to struggle and fail outperformed the other set of kids. Researchers of this study say ‘the experiences of failing make the kids learn better and apply the concepts better in their life’.

There is no surprise our brain functions this way, they are unique in their ability to learn through failures.

Use your failure to drive you:

This is a very powerful one. We see so many inspirations in the history who let their failures to drive them better and use it to turn around things.

Michael Jordan was 15 when his high school basket ball team rejected him. He was disappointed when the list came without his name. Jordan says “Whenever I was working out and got tired and figured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it, and that usually got me going again.”

Practice, Practice and Practice:

A really important piece of the process. Steve Jobs inspired (and still continues to inspire) many people around the world. While he and his brand stand for ‘Innovation’, Jobs is also very famous for his unique ‘Presentation’ style. If you saw early presentation videos of him, you could see he was really nervous appearing before a large audience and delivering presentations but he got better, better and better each time.

Remember when you think something naturally comes to someone, they made it look like it but they work really hard on it!

Failure in sports is inevitable, but if you handle it well, it could be bigger than your success!


I hail from the sunny south of India ( and yes, I'm a big lover of filter-coffee).There is nothing I like more than exploring new places and meeting new people. I love to live my life dreaming big and I also love sharing my inspirations with others!

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