Failing Forward: Turning Short Term Setbacks Into Long Term Success

Failing Forward: Turning Short Term Setbacks Into Long Term Success

We've all been there as a player. 

Maybe the weekend didn't go exactly how I wanted or maybe the last practice or last training session was filled with the frustration of "failure". 

Hitting is hard.  That is just the way it is and it doesn't get easier. 

In this blog we will outline ideas about how you can have better perspective around short term failures and how you can use it to your advantage

The idea of "failing forward" refers to the ability to use setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, even if we don't achieve our immediate goals. The concept emphasizes that failures and setbacks are not just negative events that hinder our progress but also present opportunities for personal growth and development. 

Understanding Setbacks

I typically tell my kids before their games on the weekend ever start "no matter what happens over the weekend, it won't make you a good player, nor will it make you a bad player.  If you go 0-4 you don't stink, and if you go 4-4 you aren't amazing".  Having a healthy framework around performance outcomes is a good starting point to understanding setbacks

Setbacks are a common experience for every hitter, and no one is immune to them. Acknowledging these setbacks with a healthy perspective is an important first step in learning from them.

Changing Our Mindset

You're never as good, or never as bad as you think you are in baseball/softball

Our mindset plays a crucial role in how we perceive and react to setbacks. A growth mindset is essential in embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth.

A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed through hard work, dedication, and perseverance. This mindset allows us to view setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, rather than failures that define us. Embracing imperfection and positive self-talk can help us develop a growth mindset and overcome setbacks.

Reframing Setbacks

DIdn't do as well as you thought you would this weekend?  Good

Reframing setbacks involves viewing them in a positive light and extracting lessons from them. Instead of dwelling on the negative aspects of a setback, we can focus on the opportunities for growth that it presents. By reframing setbacks, we can identify the lessons learned, build resilience, and improve our skills and abilities.

Taking Action

What are you going to do about it?

Taking action after a setback involves setting new goals and learning from successful individuals who have experienced setbacks. By setting new goals, we can refocus our energy and motivation towards achieving them. Learning from successful individuals who have experienced setbacks can provide us with insight and inspiration on how to overcome setbacks and achieve our goals.

Incorporating Feedback

Building tools and systems for objective feedback

Incorporating feedback is an important aspect of "failing forward". Feedback allows us to learn from our mistakes and improve our performance. By accepting feedback, we can identify areas of improvement and take steps to address them. Incorporating feedback can also help us build resilience and improve our ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Know Who You Are

Through the proper feedback, you can get a real sense of who you are as a player.  I tell our players often, "The only way you don't play up to your action capacities is if your mindset gets in the way.  Relax, and just be who you are."  This is another advantage of building data and technology into your feedback loop as a player.  You get a real sense of what you are, and what you are capable of and that should give you the peace of mind to go perform when it matters the most

Overcoming Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can be paralyzing for a baseball/softball player. 

Failure is everywhere and it is just as much part of the game as throwing/catching/hitting. 

However, overcoming the fear of failure is an important step in "failing forward". Understanding the fear of failure, learning from failure, and reframing failure as a stepping stone to success can help us overcome our fear and take action towards achieving our goals.


In conclusion, "failing forward" is a powerful concept that can help us overcome setbacks and achieve our goals as a player. By embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth, changing our mindset, reframing setbacks, taking action, incorporating feedback, and overcoming the fear of failure, we can develop resilience, improve our skills and abilities, and achieve our goals. Remember, setbacks are not the end of the road, but a detour on the journey towards success.

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