Athletes learn from failure


As cliche as the concept of ‘getting back on the horse’ is, the prospect of success after failure is a universal truth.

In sports–whether they are learning the game for the first time or training for the Olympics–athletes face a trial of mind and body. How willing are you to take what you have got and literally run with it? And the bigger question: What are you going to do when the hurdles knock you down? Hopefully, the answer would be a statement of determination.

Ultimately, the world’s best athletes didn’t grow up gliding through the levels of their sport; they fought tooth and nail to achieve their goals.

Michael Jordan is the quintessential example. The revered basketball player and Air Jordan owner did not make his high school basketball team.

Resilience is key, and just like Michael Jordan, Carter Hering and Tyler Sheviak, seniors, have turned failure into a renewed sports experience.

After trying out for cross country at Leesville, Hering found the experience bittersweet. “I was not fast and hated running; so, starting sophomore year, I got cut from the team, which was a blessing in the end,” said Hering.

After being cut, Hering continued playing ultimate frisbee with friends from the cross country team. “We all loved it, and I especially loved it. So I decided we needed an ultimate frisbee club..,” said Hering.

In the end, Hering is content with events, saying, “It took me a little while to [start the ultimate frisbee club]…but…I’m loving it now. We have the biggest team in Wake County.”

Tyler Sheviak’s story also begins with running: “I started [running] freshman year…because my brother ran,” said Sheviak.

Sheviak ultimately faced a very painful  blow: “I got up to [running] fifty minutes without stopping, then I started feeling a pain in my leg. I thought it was just a muscle, so I ran through it. It ended up being a stress fracture. So then I tried to come back from that but I was out…the rest of the year. Then I couldn’t come back…whenever I started trying to run again I would just start getting hurt, so I had to stop.”

Hoping to ameliorate his situation, Sheviak took another route. “I signed up for the [Sports Medicine] class sophomore year because it looked interesting to me, and I really loved it. After Sports Med 1 you got to choose your sport, and I chose to do cross country because they had never had a trainer there. And I did that for Sports Med 2 and 3,” said Sheviak.

The takeaway: “I learned that setbacks can stop you at the moment, but they can help you in the long run.  I’ve enjoyed Sports Med a lot more than I did running,” said Sheviak.

For many, from world renowned Michael Jordan to Leesville’s Carter Hering and Tyler Sheviak, failure can catalyze future success for those willing to look for a bright side and work to get there.

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