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Consistency and Growth During Chaos

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Matt French

On a typical college campus in a normal year, student-athletes follow a strict regimen defined by hectic schedules. Their teammates and coaches keep them accountable and make the grind enjoyable. But last year was far from typical. The structure that college sports and academics provides nearly evaporated along with the ability to compete.

Six college baseball programs joined forces to create the first-ever Growth Mindset College League to reinforce purpose, provide structure, keep athletes engaged and help them grow. Using the Sevwins app as the facilitator, the teams competed for the highest growth rep completion percentage – what Sevwins calls Bell %. The 11-week challenge included weekly goal setting and reflections, as well as, daily mental skill assessments. While the league was framed as a competition, it turned out to be a supremely inspiring story about mental toughness, relentless commitment and coach mentorship.

When Greg, John and I started Sevwins one year ago, we never imagined the primary use of the app would be in an environment where athletes and coaches were not together. Like most coaches do, the coaches that competed in our Growth Mindset League were creative and relentless in their pursuit of improving the lives of their team members.

As a result of the Growth Mindset League and their use of Sevwins, the college coaches were able to:

  • Gain player insights
  • Read player journals and watch them achieve their weekly goals
  • Stay connected and keep athletes engaged
  • Reinforce the team’s purpose
  • Maintain the team’s commitment to one another

Brady Kirkpatrick, Harvard Pitching Coach, summarized his experience coaching during unprecedented times. His story sheds light on how Sevwins created structure for his team’s growth.

The last 6 months have been anything but normal. From online classes to missed competition – the year has been chaos. During these unprecedented times, Sevwins has provided consistency and growth. Sevwins has streamlined effective and genuine communication while demonstrating the power of self-reflection, and accountability. We are excited to continue developing relationship and building championship habits through Sevwins and the growth mindset.

Esteban Contreras, Holy Names University Head Baseball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director, used Sevwins to keep team members focused and committed while he gained player insight.

[Sevwins] was a great way to stay connected to everyone on the team and to the game of baseball. I think the biggest challenge we faced as a collegiate team during the pandemic was to keep our athletes engaged. Sevwins reinforced our purpose as a team with the daily reminders and challenged us to stick to our commitment to one another.

I was pleased to see how much thought went into each [athlete] entry. From mindful meditation to nutrition, each athlete took it upon themself to attack each day with purpose and become better individually and collectively by creating positive daily habits. That is what Sevwins is all about.

Anthony D’Albora, Los Medanos College Head Baseball Coach, shared how his staff used Sevwins to drive accountability and self-reliance.

This Fall, more than even previous chunks of time using the Sevwins app, we noticed guys falling out of quality and repeatable routines. We were able to evaluate and help guys find the best solution to get more out of themselves without the normal support and structure they are used to having.

Coach D’Albora dives into the details in his Coaches Making a Difference in Unprecedented Times” blog.

Vince Maiocco, Taft College Head Baseball Coach, provides a snapshot of the goal and reflection journals he read from his team.

I loved reading the journal entries by my players. Some of their comments were as follows...Helping interact with the new players in our baseball program. Helping shovel snow from my neighbors driveway. Helping give private lessons to Little League players. Reading the Bible on a consistent basis. Paying close attention to my nutritional consumption.

The head coach of the Growth Mindset College League champs, Chris Rodriquez of the University of the Pacific, shared his perspectives on the power of Sevwins.

[Sevwins] was fun and an outstanding tool to learn some insight on players! The weekly goal setting was a huge plus. I enjoyed reading and watching the players achieve their weekly goals!!

 

Summary of the 11-Week Growth Mindset Challenge

University of the Pacific Baseball squeaked past St. Mary’s College Baseball by 0.2% to take the crown with a 91.7% growth rep commit rate – highest out of the competing colleges. St. Mary’s led the way with the most growth reps completed by a single team. Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment was set by Holy Names University. They completed an astonishing 97% of their weekly written reflections. If you love stats like the folks at Sevwins, you’ll appreciate these numbers.

47,493 total growth reps across all teams

  • 3,993 written goals
  • 40,500 mental skill assessments
  • 3,000 written reflections

Outcomes

  • Read 160,000 key growth terms
  • Wrote 120,450 words related to growth
  • Made 79,479 intentional decisions

Growth rep total by team

  • 14,026 – SMC
  • 10,751 – Pacific
  • 7,893 – Holy Names
  • 7,294 – Taft
  • 5,689 – LMC

Top growth rep rate by type and team

  • Written goals - SMC (91%)
  • Mental skill assessments - Pacific (91%)
  • Written reflections - Holy Names (97%)

One thing I have learned is that stats don’t ever tell the complete story. Not in sports and not in life. While University of the Pacific set the bar with St. Mary’s College close on their heels, the other colleges made significant strides in building a growth mindset and a connected team. Each school was under different restrictions – some teams were fully on campus and practicing, while some schools that are traditionally commuter schools did not have baseball at all.

The athletes that competed in the challenge are well on their way to building intentional habits including learning how their mind works, prioritizing the important stuff and learning from weekly experiences. Athletes improved their strategic thinking and allocated their mind and effort to themselves and others daily. The coaches were able to keep connected with their team and learned something new about each of their athletes. Congratulations to all of the teams. Building a growth mindset isn’t a sometimes thing. It’s a never-ending daily commitment to building intentional success habits.

Want to learn more about the Sevwins Growth Mindset League?

Let us know if you are interested in participating or have questions. We are planning to launch more in the future. Shoot us a quick email and we will add you to the next Growth Mindset League. College, club, high school - across all sports and levels. Let us know.


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