Last summer around this time, I wrote a blog about the lessons we can learn from a setback or failure inspired by tennis professional, Andy Murray, and his great attitude after a heartbreaking defeat. He vowed to keep trying, keep improving, and come back better than before.
Once again this year, the pressure for a player from Great Britain to win Wimbledon and break their 77-year drought was intense. All of Great Britain, and many tennis fans around the world, rejoiced with Murray when he raised the Wimbledon trophy for the first time this Sunday.
I was excited by Murray’s significant accomplishment but particularly inspired by his post-match interview and the realization that he fulfilled exactly what he said he would do last year. Despite the pressure, his nerves, playing the world’s number one ranked tennis professional in the final, and previous failures in similar situations, Andy persevered.
When asked by a reporter how he “closed the gap” from last year’s post-match teary sentiment to the crowd, “I’m getting closer,” to this year’s victory, Andy replied:
I learned from all my defeats. I kept working hard. I had a great team around me who supported me. They helped me understand why I was losing these matches and how I needed to turn it ‘round. That was it, really.
Andy admitted in a different interview that he thought he may never have the opportunity to win Wimbledon, but coming to grips with that fear actually helped him in a way. He knew that he was doing all he could, and it settled him down. If you can look at loss in a positive way, you won’t be weighed down by it.
Andy referenced his coach’s role many times as well. In his case, his coach told him exactly what he needed to improve if he wanted to “compete with the big guys.” His coach was open and honest with him about his areas for improvement, which is exactly what a coach is for! Sometimes we resist hearing from those who have improvement feedback for us, but whether you have a life or career coach, a mentor, or another individual interested in your development, coaching is meant to help us – not hurt us or break us down. Our coaching clients seek us out because they feel this same way.
We can all learn from Andy Murray’s statements and his example. Continuing to strive for our best effort, learning from previous setbacks, and relying on those who support us - our teammates, friends and family, and the coaches who reflect our possibilities – will enable us all to improve and reach our lofty goals.
Let us know where you have persevered and experienced a breakthrough or perhaps where you are still hoping to “win.” Has a coach helped you in some way? Please post a comment to share your thoughts on these ideas.