Faced with a challenge…… Give up or go on to success?
I expect, like me, many of you watched or heard about Ben Stokes’ incredible innings at Headingly in the 3rd Ashes test. England needed to win the match to avoid losing the Ashes to Australia. With a target of 357 to reach in their final innings, the experts and commentators were awarding the small urn to Australia even before England stepped out to bat, expecting another batting collapse.
You all know what happened next, but it is how they went about achieving victory that I want to highlight. Firstly, and probably most importantly, the English team had real belief that they were capable of winning this test match. On a daily basis, our pupils at school face challenges in a range of activities and lessons. One of our roles as educators is to enable our pupils to have the belief and confidence that they have the ability to achieve success. We all know they have the ability to do it, having the belief and determination to achieve is the crucial bit of the jigsaw.
Breaking a challenging situation or problem down into small achievable steps is instrumental when dealing with any overwhelming task. In their final innings, England set themselves smaller goals whether that be reaching 50 runs or to get to lunch without losing a wicket. With every smaller goal achieved, the size of the challenge reduces and pushes you further up that mountain towards your target.
Finally, England achieved victory through hard work, creativity, taking a risk and perseverance, all the attributes I encourage Hatherop pupils to show in their school lives. Ben Stokes demonstrated all these qualities in his outstanding innings. I will be reminding our pupils as we start the new academic year to adopt the mindset of Ben Stokes and the English cricket team when they are faced with what they think is an insurmountable problem or challenge at school. If they do, they will also go on to achieve great things this year.