A backflip 360, with no looking back


I have become one of those annoying Dad’s that uses insights from work with his kids.

Nell, my 12 year old (13 next week!), and I have an ongoing game where she plays the super-hero ‘Growth Mindset Girl’, using her disarming super-power of the word ‘yet’ (as in I can’t do this … yet). What I didn’t expect was what happened as we watched the Olympics together. Nell and I have been hooked on the BMX competition and, in particular, two amazing – gold medal winning – women. Both Bethany Shriever and Charlotte Worthington are living examples of how to respond to setbacks and stay on your own course. Nell and I listened to Bethany being interviewed as she matter-of-factly explained…

“Results are out of our control at the end of the day – to just keep to my routine and keep my cool around the track is what I was best at and I managed to hold on and take the win”.

This was from a 22 year-old who had to crowdfund her way to Tokyo. I was in tears at her poise and her perseverance. Even more emotional was watching Charlotte Worthington in the BMX freestyle attempt the backflip 360, a trick never achieved by a woman in competition, and fall heavily on her first run (having never come off her bike before). Her second round saw her looking relaxed and smiling as she decided to attempt the backflip again and nailed it perfectly. This was a trick that she had only managed ‘a few times’ before, landing it for the first time on a hard floor during practice in Tokyo. Why the tears?

Firstly, the shear grit of both women, but more the inspiration as I shared these moments with Nell and saw her become lost in each moment. I am used to my son being caught up in sport, but to see Nell experience the connection and to wonder what her own perseverance might bring, truly touched my heart.

It reminded me of why we created Farleigh Performance as a partnership with Bath Rugby, and the inspirational power of sport that can be inclusive for all. These two women are showing us the way.