Courage personified.

dm_141120_misc_e60_catchingkaylaWhilst we constantly look to our multi-millionaire athletes to inspire us with acts of courage, more often than not it is the average person who inspires the most.

The attached video is from ESPN’s E:60 program and features a young athlete named Kayla Montgomery. Kayla was a promising soccer player until receiving the devastating news that she had MS, and her soccer playing days were over.

What Kayla did next was truly inspirational.

I won’t spoil the story but if you have 12 minutes please watch the clip. I guarantee you will learn something, and have the added bonus of feeling emotions that may even bring a tear to your eye.

For me I learnt that:

  • For every negative there is a positive (if you look hard enough)- “I can’t feel my legs so that means that I struggle to pace myself, but it also means that I can’t feel the pain”.
  • A great coach has an ‘impact’ on a person, not merely teaches them skills. “He’s like a father…”
  • Great things happen when coaches and parents are aligned. Kayla’s mother says “he pushes her, just enough”
  • We should focus on what a person can do rather than what they can’t do.
  • Placing ceilings on young athletes is dangerous. Making final judgments on them at young ages is ridiculous.
  • A champions heart is more important than any level of skill.

It would be great to hear about what you learnt from Kayla’s story or if you know of other similar stories we can share.

This topic is part of our Building Resilience presentation – for more details contact us at here

About the author:

Nathan Burke started his career as a schoolteacher before the demands of elite level football with St Kilda F.C. took over. Following a successful corporate career he founded Nathan Burke Consulting – a Melbourne based firm that offers High Performance Training and Coaching solutions to corporates, schools and sports teams.

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