In her book, Daring Greatly, Brené Brown refers to a speech given by Teddy Roosevelt in 1910. In it, Roosevelt said:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I have spent many years watching school sport and admire the courage that children have to get into the ‘arena’. I have been to very few matches where parents have not yelled from the sidelines – criticizing passes, moaning when players make mistakes, judging the selectors and coaches, and complaining about the incorrect decisions that the referees and umpires always seem to make. Are you one of those parents?
I thank all our children, coaches, selectors, referees and umpires for getting out into the arena and to dare greatly. Without them we would not have had all those enjoyable moments of being next to our friends on the side of a sports field; and without them we would ultimately not have international sport!
- Where in your life are you the critic?
- Where in your life are you not ‘daring greatly’ and getting into the arena?