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Dan James: Effort Allows Athletes To Be Triumphant In Failure

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Dan James (@Dgjames70) joined PCA in 2017 as the first Executive Director of the Seattle chapter, where he leads the Chapter in creating a Development Zone culture for Seattle youth sports. Prior to joining PCA, Dan worked for the United States Tennis Association where he led the wheelchair tennis program coaching at 5 Paralympics. He played college tennis at Gustavus Adolphus College and began his coaching career under his head Coach Steve Wilkinson at Tennis and Life Camps.

During his time as a wheelchair tennis coach, Dan James coached several athletes who he believed to be "triumphant in failure." In this video above, which took place at a Learning 2.0 conference, James recounts a story of an athlete who, despite losing several tennis matches in a row, was triumphant in her own right because a physical condition made it difficult for her to even be on the court. Although she didn't win, her effort to get out on the court and give it her best effort made it a triumphant experience given the situation and context. To James, not trying and putting yourself out there is tragic, but when you at least give yourself a chance, you can be triumphant in failure no matter your circumstance.