A good rule of thumb to teach your kids is to never quit. That means that giving up and not trying is simply not an option. No amount of effort can ever be considered failure.
I’ve seen this pay off in spades when my son was on his middle school’s cross-country team. Sure, he might have come in dead last at every meet, but he never gave up, never stopped. That made me so very proud. His coach praised his positive attitude and teammates cheered as he neared the finish line. Of course I was reduced to tears every time. He may not come in first, second or 19th, but my guy is no quitter. It’s a character trait that speaks volumes.