The thing is, the athletes don't let a fall destroy their career even if it's at the Olympics, when all they have worked for most of their young life is on the line. They just brush themselves off and try even harder. And when you hear them talk about the fall later on, they consider it something that helped them in the long run. The fall made them a better athlete.
Watching athletes fall is kind of like watching your kids fail. It really sucks to watch. I want to be like the 'Catcher in the Rye' and catch my kids before falling off the imaginary cliff whether that be grades or sports. But if I am always there to catch them, what happens the time I am not there.
There are positive lessons in failure. Last semester, Miley bombed and I mean bombed a geography test labeling all the countries in Africa. She insisted she did not need to know placement. She knew the spelling so she figured it would be a piece of cake. Wrong. I hated driving her home the day she got that grade. She cried and cried and cried more.
I tried not to cry with her.
She decided on her on to study her next continent, South America, much more intently. She made fake maps, found online quizzes, used index cards. And got a perfect. Had she gotten a B on the Africa test, she would not have tried as hard the next time and would not have been rewarded with her amazing results.
It was a lesson for both of us.
So there is a positive side to failure and falling. It's just really, really hard to watch.