Reflecting on my interview with Kayla Brown in this month’s blog post (“Six of Anything Can’t Be Good”), the quality that stands out to me is Kayla’s perseverance. It’s a characteristic that I greatly admire. It’s also a trait that’s difficult to develop, and not one that you can easily rely upon if you haven’t gone through some challenges along the way.

Some people might ask, “what do you mean by Perseverance?” Good question.

One definition of Perseverance is “a steady persistence in a course of action or purpose, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement.”

Another says, “A continued effort to do or to achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition.”

Another one says Perseverance “Is not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and to keep doing it until the end, even if it’s hard.”

That’s Kayla Brown. Despite tearing her ACL when she was in middle school, despite being diagnosed with a cancer, typically one found in older men, when she was 15 years old, despite having her teachers give up on her during her sophomore year, despite having six concussions…Kayla just completed her first year at Susquehanna University.

Kayla acknowledges that she has some extra effort in order to graduate on time, but she knows what she has to do, and she’s determined to do it. I’m not betting against her.

Perseverance is a message that I attempt to impart on my players every season. Everyone is going to face some sort of obstacle in achieving their goals. Sometimes that challenge is large, sometimes not so much. But how are you going to react when you’re working toward your goal and all of a sudden, things don’t go the way you planned. There’s a bump in the road. An obstacle?

Are you going to give up? Are you going to try to find the easy way out? Or are you going to have Perseverance?

Don’t Say I Can’t