PERSEVERANCE – is about not giving up. It’s more about stamina than intensity. It’s not just about working incredibly hard but staying the course, resisting temptation and recognizing there are no short-cuts in life. It’s being tough, strong, determined, courageous, and resolved. It’s realizing that life is not about going undefeated, but about learning from setbacks and bouncing back. Perseverance comes from your gut

How do we coach it? By standing by them, with them, and behind them; by being coaches and “cheerleaders”, and by witness of our own example.

Session #3 PERSEVERANCE 3/27-4/30 Group Sessions of ~12 people CLICK HERE to Signup for Session

Pre-Session Preparation

  1. Watch this video:  Famous Failures by MotivatingSuccess (2:58 mins)

  2. Be prepared to share a related personal story

  3. Read through the Quotes and other Perseverance resources below

  4. Print session materials and bring to session: Session #3 Perseverance Session Materials

Other Perseverance Resources


  1. GRIT: The power of passion and perseverance - Angela Duckworth TED Talk (6:06)

  2. Ben Watson Tackles Champ Bailey (3:31)

  3. Rudy Movie Clip – Fortune’s Truth (2:42)

STORIES/RESEARCH (find via Google search)

  1. The poem Can’t by Edgar Guest

  2. Winston Churchill’s 6/4/40 speech to Parliament ‘We Shall Fight in the Fields and in the Streets’

  3. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

QUOTES - Choose one from below that resonates with you. Be prepared to share in the group and why you chose that quote.

  1. Perseverance is the ability to resist temptation and stay the course; you do not give up!John Wooden, College Basketball Coach

  2. There are no shortcuts in life! – Henry Aaron, Hall of Fame Baseball Player to the 2015 Handshake America Students

  3. The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfiedKing Solomon, Proverb 13:4

  4. I’m not a failure because I didn’t succeed, I’m a failure because I didn’t try – fictional character Kev Twine character from TV Series Derek

  5. Can’t is the father of feeble endeavor, the parent of terror and halfhearted work – Edgar Guest, American Poet

  6. When you learn to keep fighting in the face of potential failure, it gives you a larger skill set to do what you want to do –  Patricia Summitt, College Basketball Coach

  7. ”Hang in there!” is sound advice for anyone intent on doing good in the world –  William Bennett, Author of ‘The Book of Virtues’

  8. If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month –  Theodore Roosevelt, US President

  9. If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward –  Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Leader

  10. At various points we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses; if we get up, grit wins –  Angela Duckworth, Author of ‘Grit’

Perseverance Session

3/27-4/30 Group Sessions of ~12 people CLICK HERE to Signup for Session
Session #3 Printable Perseverance Session Materials

Purpose of the Session: Understanding the meaning of PERSEVERANCE and the impact it has on success.

AGENDA (~1-2 hours)

I. Welcome from the Host (include description of host company) (~5 minutes)

II. Check-in (each individual with the whole group) (~10 minutes)

  1. Introduce yourself: State your Name, School/Company, Sport.

  2. State your mindset coming into the meeting (share something about your day, or recent happenings in your life).

  3. Prepare to be in this moment, engaging and listening to others.

III. Quick Review of Handshake America’s Five Practices of Success (~5 minutes)

IV. Personal Story Teller (e.g. Coach, Host, or Guest Speaker) (~15 minutes)

  1. Share their background: Who are they, where are they from, what do they do, etc.

  2. Share a personal story or two of pivotal times in their life, personally or professionally.

  3. Share adversity faced on their pathway to success and how they overcame it. Share what kept them going.

V. Activity Paper Scraper Minute to Win It Instructions Video Clip (~ 20 minutes)

VI. Discussion Choose a few questions to discuss from the list below. (~20 minutes)

  1. What questions do you have for the speaker? Is there something in his/her story you could relate to? Which of the The Five Practices did you ‘hear’ in the the speaker’s story?

  2. How would you summarize the message from the assigned video: Famous Failures by MotivatingSuccess (2:58)?

  3. Share an experience (or story) that you have that illustrates PERSEVERANCE?

  4. How do you describe PERSEVERANCE in your own words?  What is similar about the responses with your teammates?

  5. Why is PERSEVERANCE important for success in sports, career, and in life?

  6. Why do you think Handshake America has PERSEVERANCE as the first Practice?

  7. What’s another word associated with people who have PERSEVERANCE?  Are they all good words?

  8. Do you learn more from a record of 10-0 or a record of 6-4? Why?

  9. “Hang in there!”  Why is this such a common expression of encouragement?

  10. If you reviewed any of the other videos or stories, what are your takeaways?

  11. How does being a student-athlete teach you PERSEVERANCE?

  12. How can you develop and/or improve PERSEVERANCE?

VII. Quotes (~ 15 minutes)

  1. Take 5 minutes by yourself to review the Quotes from above in the Other Perseverance Resources section.

  2. Privately write your favorite quote down on a piece of paper and give to the facilitator who will gather everyone’s favorite quote.

  3. Once all favorites are turned in, share the quote you chose with the team and why you chose it.

  4. Did everyone chose the same quote or different quotes?

VIII. Announcements (~5 minutes)

  1. Announce any key accomplishments that have recently occurred amongst anyone present.

  2. Remind students about Special Scholarship opportunities that may be available toward the end of the year. There may be one specifically for Perseverance. Be thinking about your practice of Perseverance and how it impacts success in you and others.

  3. Other Handshake America announcements (from President or Handshake America office).

IV. Check-out (either in pairs or with the whole group) (~10 minutes)

  1. What’s one thing you took away from this session?

  2. Do you have room to improve your Perseverance?

  3. How could you apply what you’ve learned into your daily life in order to practice your Perseverance?