Famous football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "If you can accept losing, you can’t win."
This quote must have applied to never giving up in a game. I don’t think the philosophy applies to teaching the game. It is important when coaching and teaching your players that they have your acceptance to make mistakes. They must embrace the freedom to fail, but fail moving forward. They must recognize their mistakes, and treat them with the correct perspective. There are important lessons with failures. Can you learn from them, but more importantly how do you deal with them?
If your players have a fear of failure, it can lead to creative paralysis and inhibited growth. Players need to understand the odds are small that they will perfect a skill absolutely right the first time. Only through persistence and adjustment and the correct attitude can they hope to use the skill in a game.
They need to look at failures as part of the process of learning. It should be thought of as feedback. They don’t need to feel bad and loose focus. I’ve seen players put so much pressure on themselves, that any small mistake, they become frustrated, angry and demeaned the mistake. Their state of mind should be one of being motivated and empowered to learn. They should be looking for a more flexible behavior that allows them to adjust to make a correction and keep the frame of mind that will allow them success on future attempts.
Remember the very best 3 point shooters fail 60% of the time. Do you think they are focused on the misses or the makes?