Never Giving Up: The Art of Pushing Through

Never Giving Up: The Art of Pushing Through

Discover the art of pushing through and why giving up is not an option. One of the biggest reasons I encourage my kids to play a team sport is because it teaches you so many lessons. One of these lessons is that it teaches kids to never give up and continue to play at their best even if the odds are stacked against them. 

As you well know by now, I enjoy using the lessons I learnt in sport and applying them to daily life and business. In 2003 I was the captain of the Stormers team traveling to Australia and New Zealand for two matches in each country. For those of you that have traveled to these two countries, you will know that the time difference and jetlag are both very difficult to overcome.


We won our first game on tour and it set us up for a very successful tour. There weren’t many teams from South Africa winning tours at the time. Unfortunately, we lost the next two games and after 3 weeks on tour we headed to Sydney to play the Waratahs. Our team was depleted with injuries, and we had a fullback at fly half and a scrum half at wing. 

After 3 weeks away it was hard to get everyone to remain focused on the task at hand as you start missing home and you have your one foot on the airplane. After just 7 minutes of play we were down 21-0 as the Waratahs had scored three incredible tries. We hadn’t done much wrong, but we were three tries down. I got the team into a huddle and told them that we hadn’t had many opportunities and that we must just hang in and hold onto the ball when we get it. I wasn’t encouraged by the look in their eyes, but I was hoping my words would sink in.

We slowly clawed ourselves back into the game with a long distance try from Neil de Koch who was a scrum half playing at wing.  The half time score was 24-10 to the Waratahs and we were still in it. Suddenly something clicked and we managed to score five tries and seal a valuable win away from home by winning the match 39-29. This was by far the biggest and best comeback win that I was ever involved in and it is hard to express how much satisfaction we got out of that win.


Often in life and in business we have our backs against the wall, and we wonder if it is worth pursuing a project, a relationship or even a business venture. One of my weak points is that I don’t know when to give up. I do however feel that when the odds are stacked against you it is a great opportunity to show character, determination and grit.  A friend recently told me that GRIT stands for GUTS, RESILIENCE, INTEGRITY and TENACITY. I truly believe we all have a lot of fight in us but as life batters us around some people lose that fight within them.

If you are in a sticky situation at work or in life, check in with a friend, colleague or family member for assistance and maybe just a word of encouragement. I don’t believe we are meant to battle through things in life on our own and therefore I encourage you to find a mentor or someone who can give you an opinion from the “outside”.

In the end it doesn’t matter if you lose a battle, but you must never lose your tenacity to fight. You must always be able to go to bed and sleep well because you know that you have given it your best shot and there was nothing more you could have done. 

Leave everything out on the field!

Three reasons why giving up is not an option:

1) You never know how close you are to succeeding.

2) If you give up once it is easier to give up in future.

3) Real rewards are on the other side of pain so keep pushing.

When in doubt, keep pushing through. If you would like to engage with me or share your views on the topics I cover, please follow my story on Facebook and LinkedIn. For any keynote speaking event, please look at my speaker sheet  or contact me on

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