You Need a Growth Mindset – Learn How From NBA Star Steph Curry

“Believing that your qualities are carved in stone – which is part of having a fixed mindset – discourages risk-taking and revision. People with a fixed mindset avoid challenging situations that might lead to failure because success depends upon protecting and promoting their set of fixed qualities and concealing their deficiencies.”

We came across a really good article the other day from inc.com called

You Need a Growth Mindset–and NBA Star Steph Curry Can Teach You How to Get One.

The article was geared more towards entrepreneurs, however the main points were still extremely relevant to athletes. Therefore we decided to shorten and summarize the main points here for you, and cater it towards sports.

Throughout his career, NBA star Steph Curry has demonstrated key lessons in leadership and mental toughness.

“Everything that I do great right now,” Curry told the Wall Street Journal. “I want to do even better.”

That statement is the perfect summary of a growth mindset; the belief that basic qualities can be cultivated and improved through ongoing effort. As research by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has shown, people can change and improve through application and experience. Success comes as a result of effort, learning, and persistence–not just inborn talent, intelligence or strength.

Here is what having a growth mindset looks like in sports:

  1. Growing and Keeping Talent. As a coach, if you have a fixed view of your athletes, you’ll treat their skills like fixed assets. By adopting a growth mindset you can elevate the team, build more fluidity and increase performance. A growth mindset reinforces the idea that strengths can be refined and improved upon to become even stronger, and shows that continuous effort is rewarded by continuous improvement.
  2. Building Better Relationships. Team cohesion is essential to every sport, including individual sports. A growth mindset redefines the possibilities of partnership, and teaches athletes to share team values, and also shows that working together fosters a better environment than working by yourself. That process of creating shared value deepens trust, increases collaboration, and strengthens relationships.
  3. Reducing Performance Bias. Even the best coaches and athletes get performance bias from time-to-time. We all subconsciously seek information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs, or place too much weight on our own views rather than seeking advice of others. It’s part of human nature. However, having a growth mindset allows you to be more self-aware of your style, your thoughts and your own pre-conceived ideas of your or your athletes performance. Once those blinders are off, analyzing performance becomes much easier, and much more effective.

Having a growth mindset is essential to improving as an athlete, a coach and a team. Without it you will inevitably get stuck in a rut, not winning games, matches or championships, and will likely be forever frustrated. Keep an open mind, and work on your growth mindset for continuous improvement!

Coaches, are you ready to improve your team?

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