"My character was created when I was weak, vulnerable, and
defeated…when I was faced with the choice to give up or give more."
I wish every athlete the opportunity to celebrate success. But more importantly…I hope you fail. I hope you fail over and over and over again. I hope you fail miserably. I hope you lose the big game. I hope it crushes you. I hope it hurts. I hope you feel defeated. I hope you question yourself and your abilities. I hope you ask yourself, “Is this game really worth it?” I hope you feel weak. I hope you feel vulnerable. I hope you experience regret. I hope your throat burns and your eyes sting while you try to hold back tears. I hope you go to bed and can’t sleep because you can’t stop replaying that strike out or that over throw in your head. I hope you feel that heavy weight in your chest even days after a loss. And I hope, for just a moment, you think about quitting.
And then…I hope you show some tenacity. I hope you get up, show up, and show out. I hope you overcome. I hope you push back. I hope you work. I hope you sweat. I hope you stop self-doubt. I hope you say to yourself, “It’s worth it.” I hope you find strength and confidence. I hope you can’t sleep at night because you're itching for a redemption - another shot. I hope your heart races and you get butterflies in your stomach. And I hope you wonder how you could ever think about giving up the game.
The successes didn’t build me. The wins didn’t shape me. They didn’t prepare me. They didn’t make me. I was built from failure - from extensive failure. I’ve experienced failure over and over and over again on a personal and team level. And that is what has made me who I am. My character was created when I was weak, vulnerable, and defeated…when I was faced with the choice to give up or give more. There were times where I wanted to give up. There were times I did - times it felt too hard, too heavy. But ultimately my desire was bigger than my doubts.
For me, the game was worth it. And the more you give to the game the more the game gives back to you. The game will give you things you didn’t know you needed. It will create you. It will change you. It will make you YOU. All of these ugly moments...the moments of heartache, anger, shame, doubt, embarrassment, defeat...they will be worth it. Because your true success as an athlete won’t come from any championship. It won’t be measured by stats or trophies. Instead, it will come from the characteristics and values you choose to adopt while you are at your lowest.
So, yes. I hope you fail. And I hope it makes you great.