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Simply playing a sport is not always a great way to develop as an athlete. In order to improve, we need to not only play the game, but also engage in activities designed for improvement. This could include practicing drills that target specific skills and playing modified games to advance our understanding of different aspects of the game. Also critical are soliciting and receiving feedback and reflecting. These are examples of time spent in the Learning Zone.
What does growth mindset mean for coaches in sport? Fundamentally it is about looking at coaching philosophy, coaching methods, and the systems and processes operating within sporting organisations, to ensure that all three are tuned in to the growth mindset message.
"In a growth mindset, you are focused every day by your growth, not deterred by challenges and not overwhelmed by accomplishments--you're just moving on to the next day." -Brad Stevens
Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens is no stranger to success. In 2013, Stevens was named Boston Celtics' head basketball coach, leading one of the most storied franchises in American professional sports. Stevens is an avid proponent of using a growth mindset while coaching his players. About the time Stevens began coaching at Butler University (2007-13), he was given Mindset as a gift. Ever since his initial reading, Stevens says Dr. Carol Dweck's work has influenced him as a coach, a father, and a person. He says, "Regardless of what happens today, [that] should not affect how you approach tomorrow."
Our former Growth Mindset Educator Contest Winner, Mark Carter has been applying Dweck's research to coaching and football in the UK! This self-reflection tool helps students improve their football (soccer) skills and supports the development of a growth mindset. Nice work Mark!!
"Children can learn to learn. And teachers can help children develop the mindset of a learner. What we say, the feedback we give, how we interact, the questions we ask - these can all portray the idea that we are all on a learning journey. There is no such thing as "can't" - just "can't yet". Ministry of Football believes in working with parents to develop the traits of a Growth Mindset." -Mark Carter