Use Failures and Setbacks to Create Growth for Your Players

I love teaching and coaching, because they offer me the opportunity to help shape our youth.
Many of my students and athletes come from tough situations in life, so I strive to give them the support
and encouragement they need to be successful.

I often find myself wearing multiple hats beyond the one that I don on the football field. I wear those additional hats with pride and honor, as those who come to me may not have anywhere else to turn. It is the responsibility of every coach to connect with their players on various levels, so that they can help them through times of adversity off of the field. The failures and setbacks that our players endure in life don’t have to define who they are as athletes or as people.


I have always believed in relationship development, and I have incorporated an athlete-specific approach in my coaching style. When coaches choose to focus only on the game—and ignore the human aspect of leadership—they risk missing out on the opportunity to help players navigate challenges outside of the game. This can negatively impact the personal development and growth of our players as people. By putting an emphasis on quality relationships, and the personal growth of our players, they gain the ability generate self-confidence and find a sense of personal power. This personal power is key in the process of acknowledging failures as opportunities for growth.

Establish genuine relationships with players to entice personal growth

Believing in a player helps them develop the ability to overcome adversity and build confidence through setbacks. However, believing in the intrinsic potential of each player will always have a greater influence on them as people rather than just as athletes. This value is something that many players don’t see in themselves. This is especially true for those who are experiencing setbacks and failures off of the field and outside of school. They will feel comfort in knowing that they have a coach by their side, and can become motivated by the genuine value that you see in them.


Learning from our players as they learn from us is the ultimate growth opportunity for athletes and coaches. It contributes to the development of impactful relationships that can lead to greater opportunities outside of sports. Experiencing success is the ultimate goal in life, but if life were to provide us with only success and no failure, then what would that success mean? Having the ability to change our mindsets as we encounter failure can be contagious and beneficial to our players. Adapt your mindset to not just get through challenges, but to embrace them and find the opportunities for growth that lie within.

Whether you are winning or losing, failing or succeeding, opportunities for growth are always present. It is up to us as coaches to cultivate an environment that provides structure, stability, and the opportunity for our players to grow as people.


Brandon Mize football coach; player growth specialist

Brandon Mize is a gold-level football coach in the Clearwater, Florida area. His coaching experience dates back 15 years, and he has been on the CoachUp platform since 2017. Check out his profile here and book a session with him tomorrow!

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