“You cannot fail unless you quit.” – Abraham Lincoln.
“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” – Vince Lombardi.
“Quitters don’t win and winners don’t quit.” – Elliott Gouldi
“Nothing I ever want to accomplish will ever become a reality if I always quit.” – Michelle A. Homme
If you do a quick web search for “quotes about quitting,” you’ll come up with page after page of things just like what’s up there.
There is a deep seeded sentiment in sports culture especially that says that you must continue to keep going no matter what if you want to succeed. It’s what the Rocky movies are all about. It’s what we see constantly in motivational stories at big tournaments – how top athletes stayed the course even when they wanted to give up.
True, there is a whole lot of good that comes from pushing past obstacles. However, there are also times that we need to step back and take a different direction. There are right and wrong times to quit.
A healthy perspective
Fencing is a passionate sport to be involved in. For those of us who have discovered that love of the sport, it can be hard to imagine walking away from it. However, there are lots of reasons that people don’t keep fencing, and pushing them isn’t the way to keep them involved.
We want fencers to stick with it for the right reasons, and those all start and end with taking joy in the sport. Everything flows from there!
I recently had a conversation with a teenage fencer in our club about quitting. She walked into our office and told me that she wanted to give up the sport. In the many years that we’ve been doing this, this kind of conversation has come up plenty of times. From our point of view, it’s important that we stay impartial. Pushing someone to stick with the sport when it’s not working has never turned out to be the best thing for them or for us. We might keep them coming to classes and competing for a little while, but it never lasts.
That doesn’t mean that every teenager who walks into our office is told to hang up their fencing mask. Instead, we engage in an honest conversation about the good and the bad reasons to quit fencing.
The mindset has to be one of a healthy perspective that gives each person the genuine chance to reach their potential. This doesn’t just apply to fencing, but to every area of life.