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Inspired By A Will To Win

June 6th, 2010 · 2 Comments


It may not have been the outcome that we were all hoping for, but when Francesca Schiavone won the French Open last night against the favoured Sam Stosur I was handed a relevant case study for the next pep talk with my 16-year-old.

Stosur had beaten Schiavone in their previous four battles, as well as the number one seed on her way to the final. It was widely expected that she would win the tournament. But those who doubted Schiavone hadn’t factored in her sheer determination. And that was the message that I shared with my son who is battling his way through year 11.

He feels that the odds are against him to succeed in the Higher School Certificate. He isn’t naturally suited to the traditional learning style served up by his teachers and his performance to date has shattered his confidence. So we discussed Schiavone’s remarkable win despite her recent playing history.

“If you really want something, you can make it happen,” I heard myself saying. “But you have to really want it.”

My son agreed that a physical challenge such as a tennis match would actually be more difficult to win by willpower than an academic pursuit. Committing to study should be easier than improving a sports skill. But the truth is that boredom and fatigue can be powerful enemies of focus. Throw in self-doubt compounded by recent disappointments and it really is like turning around a cruise liner in the middle of a small harbour. We’re taking it one small step at a time.

All we can do is help him to understand what needs to be done, point him in the right direction, throw in a few inspirational case studies and hope like hell that he wants it bad enough. Schiavone has provided a burst of inspiration. The rest really is up to him.

Tags: Education · Heroes · Motivation · Self-esteem · Sport

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Diana Keough // Jun 10, 2010 at 3:02 am

    This is such a great blog! So inspiring and informative! I have a website,, and would love to hear from you! ShareWIK (share What I Know) is a website devoted to bringing together women from all different situations and backgrounds (as well as a few men!) to talk about their experiences and learn from each other. We have a group on ShareWIK called “Kids, Tweens & Teens” that could really use your input. Hope to hear from you!
    - Diana Keough
    P.S. Heres the link to the group. Just sign in to get started!
    And keep up the great work!

  • 2 Vinii // Jan 6, 2015 at 5:53 am

    This inriomatofn is off the hizool!

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