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Case Study: Fixed to Growth Mindset Transformation

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Greg Moore

Do you have examples coaches can use with their own players to highlight athletes who started with a fixed mindset that developed into a growth mindset?

A player who barely got into college struggled in the classroom during his first year. Michael spent two tough freshman semesters fixed in the belief he couldn’t compete in a four-year college classroom. He hid from tutors and froze late at night when he sat to do homework. School probation and an uphill climb to be eligible became the challenge, unless he could pass two summer classes. Michael did, barely.

To begin the sophomore year, confidence was still low. But, he promised himself he would be honest and open with his communication. In his first math class of the year, the professor asked students to introduce themselves. Michael said, “Hi everyone. My name is Mike. This class scares me because I’m not good at math. I’m going to give my best focus and do all of the assignments.”

After class the professor sent Michael an email. She appreciated the honesty and the commitment to work. Through the fall the professor checked in and helped consistently. Academic confidence has improved in every course.

Michael said the idea to “tell the truth” about school came when he was writing in his Sevwins Journal. “After writing what I was really thinking, I decided to share it with my class, my professor and the people who are trying to help me.” Michael is doing well. His GPA is now higher than his ERA.

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