I was recently listening to a podcast where Elon Musk was being interviewed. For those who have been living under a rock, Mr. Musk is the founder of PayPal, Tesla, Space X and a few other billion dollar companies.
To say Mr. Musk has been blessed with business success would be an understatement. What struck me in the course of this particular podcast was his discussion of rocket failures (and the hundreds of millions lost) in his Space X program. He was questioned as to his thoughts on the multiple explosions of rockets to which he replied these were to be expected.
He followed up to say he encourages his people to push the envelope of success. This is to say he wants them to not fear failure but to instead embrace it as a mark of making progress. In Elon's mind, failure would have been none of his rockets blowing up!
Too often coaches and players are reluctant to make a play or call play for the fear it might fail miserably. The fear of even small failures holds back progress. We have a saying on our team, if you are going to make a mistake it better be done with 100% effort.
If you block the wrong player, then you better pancake him. If you are going to run the wrong route, then it better be full speed. Wrong or right we don't want you to hesitate when making a play on the field. If the play was wrong, then learn from it and move on because it is not your mistakes which define you but how you react to them.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
It has been said that the comforting words, Fear Not, appear in the bible 366 times, one for each day of the year, plus one for leap year. Whether it is in the bible once or 366 times we should note that God calls on us to not live a life of fear. We need not fear because we know that He is with us and will strengthen and help us.
We need to heed his commandments and press forward pushing the righteous pedal on the right. Will I make mistakes? Might we fall short of his righteousness? Most certainly. However, God is with us and asks us to put that particular play in life behind us while pressing forward to be his hands and feet on earth.
I would encourage you to create a culture which embraces failure as an opportunity to get better. This is not to condone repeated failure as it is like repeated sin... really bad and the light at the end of that tunnel is usually a train! However, mistakes should be treated as opportunities to prepare for future success.
I want our players to take responsibility for their failures and successes. I know they will learn more from their failures so long as they are in an environment which encourages them to grow from these mistakes. Likewise, God wants us to be participants in spreading his Gospel. He wants us to push the envelope and is there to pick us up when we fall short. What more do we need? If God is for us, who can be against us?