Failure Breeds BASIC Success

From our partners at the American Baseball Foundation:

“The problem . . . is that the best way for a young person to build character is for him to attempt something where there is a real and serious possibility of failure. In a high-risk endeavor, whether it’s in business or athletics or the arts, you are more likely to experience colossal defeat than in a low-risk one—but you’re also more likely to achieve real and original success.”   How Children Succeed Paul Tough p. 85
In the ABF’s BASIC program under-served children succeed and fail repeatedly over the course of the day.  Many of the successes are in fact original as they begin to dominate a new sports skill such as serving the volleyball.  These the children already know failure given adverse family situations. It’s the repeated successes after the failures that build their character.  Perseverance engenders the notion, “Never Give Up”.  The internalization of this trait has become a concrete goal for our children. 
Tabitha is a shining example. Participating in the ABF after-school school program for two years, she regularly wins tickets for reading comprehension. Her deformed right hand however has made it painfully difficult for her to hit the bat.  She recently switched to hit on her left side and now clobbers the ball using the one good hand on the bat—“real and original success”.