If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again

The recent anniversary of what would have been my mother’s birthday has made me a bit sentimental. It appears she had a saying for everything and everyone. This was reiterated when an old school friend on Facebook said “I remember something your mum taught me in 5th grade which I still use today (over 3 decades later), “Mind over Matter”.

For anyone who has lost someone close to them, the anniversary of their deaths and birthdays are always a difficult time. Already on an emotionally charged week, someone who I thought was a good friend had also made a negative comment about my ability to do something that I know I could be good at. Please don’t take this as me being egocentric, there are many things that I openly admit that I probably will never be great at!

At first, I was feeling sorry for myself and thought …perhaps they are right. Maybe I am just hopeless (anyone else ever had that little voice of doubt and negativity in their heads?). I have always been my worst critic and probably always will be. I see it as a sense of continuous improvement. What could I have done better to make me the best? Probably an unhealthy obsession, but I have always tried hard to be the best at anything I do.

The saying my mum used to say, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”, came into my head. There are numerous clichés and sayings around “in order to succeed you first need to make mistakes”. My mum’s wise words etched into my subconscious, has helped form my character. All my school reports, as well as feedback from the majority of employers and coaches I have had, my “passion and persistence” has been a common theme.

Whilst supervising my daughter refereeing a 12-year-olds soccer game last week, I saw this one team attempt 5 shots at goal before they kicked one in. The attempts were so close, but misses nonetheless. It was their ability to keep on trying that got them over the line. In the end, winning 3 goals to zero. Their persistence to keep on trying eventually yielded the results.

A podcast last week with Frank Ponissi (General Manager of Melbourne Storm) summed it up nicely. They have great staff who are good at getting talented players to join the Storm. He said however, “that only gets them to the front door”. It is their character, coachability and attitude that makes them stay. A simple concept, but a very good one. Particularly given the positive culture and success of the club in spite of salary cap issues.

So the lesson that I have learned is to not worry about what other people think (sometimes what they say, speaks more about their own insecurities), learn from your mistakes, be determined, have confidence in your abilities and “keep on trying”.

If you miss a few goals but remain positive and persevere …..eventually you will start to get them in!

Yvette Audet

Yvette Audet

Sport has been an integral part of my life, both work and personal. I grew up with sport, met my husband through sport and now as a mother, am involved more than ever in sport!

As a trainer and consultant in the industry I work with sporting groups and councils to create community facilities and partnerships aimed to increase sport participation.

I have created a range of articles from the perspective of a SPORTING MUM. The articles relate life skills and messages that we can get from being involved in sport. It’s uncanny how Sport can mirror life.


Involved in gymnastics, netball and athletics from an early age, Yvette experienced being part of a team as well as the unrelentless discipline in individual sport – in particular her Heptathlon days.

First became a mum in 2005 and remembers having the inner debate of how long should I play netball while pregnant? Doing quick breastfeeds in between netball games and hoping her uterus wouldn’t feel like falling out when she jumped for the ball.

Funny anecdotes aside, she has worked in the sport and recreation industry for almost 30 years and holds several certificates and degrees around the management and training of sport, community recreation, aquatics and fitness.

Through her various roles in profit and non-profit sectors, she has helped plan for programs, events and facilities to help get communities active through sport and recreation.