Heartfelt Beat

There’s so much in Kath’s story, captured in the Winter Journal: the parallels in mastering a sport and other non-sporting skills such as music, art, dance… ; the relationship with a teacher/coach; the importance of allies and much more. The stand out issue that I keep coming back to, though, is about inhibition and fear of failure.


I’m struck by how at key moments the impact of seeing younger people engage in their music triggered debilitating self-doubts in Kath.

It reminds me of the super TED talk by Ken Robinson about creativity in which he points out that young children have an innate readiness to learn, to have no conception of making mistakes and to keep trying. So where does the fear of failure that so inhibits our readiness to learn something new in adult life come from? Ken Robinson goes on to talk about how the education system is biased against this natural creativity. For us, as coaches, the questions that come to mind are:

  • do you recognise similar feelings to Kath’s of self-doubt in yourself? and in those you coach?

  • how can we support those we coach to overcome their fears and reconnect with why they love their sport?

  • and if we’re coaching young people, how can we keep alive and nurture a sense of freedom and joy in learning?


Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts on these questions and anything else that touches you from Kath’s story so we can have a Great Conversation.

Many, many thanks to Kath for sharing such an intimate and insightful account and being ready to get us thinking. She’ll be ready to contribute to the developing conversation.