In our first blog, we unpacked the things we believe make STRIKE a unique training program. The culture we create has a great deal to do with our success. The basis for this culture is developing a growth mindset. Why? Because baseball is a game that requires its’ participants to make adjustments, or handle failure. The mindset we take into the game will determine how well we are able to adjust when things are difficult and still thrive in our on-field performance. Let’s take a deeper look at how mindset shapes what we believe about our performance and our abilities.
In her book Mindset, Carol Dweck defines a growth mindset as a “belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.” (Excerpt From: Carol S. Dweck. “Mindset.” Random House, 2006-02-28. iBooks.) The other type of mindset people tend to use to view themselves and the world around them is a fixed mindset.
This type of mindset is characterized by a belief that your your qualities and abilities are what they are. They’re set in stone and cannot be changed. You are either good at something or you are not. Carol Dweck describes a fixed mindset this way: “If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character—well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics” (Excerpt From: Carol S. Dweck. “Mindset.” Random House, 2006-02-28. iBooks.) With a fixed mindset, “failure” is perceived as an indicator of ability, rather than as the catalyst we use to adjust. It is not hard to see how the type of mindset we cultivate will determine our ability to handle the game of baseball as we, and our competition, improve.
If you aren’t familiar with TrainUgly.com, we highly recommend it as a resource for developing a growth mindset. On his website Trevor Ragan uses this chart to illustrate the differences between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset:
From this chart it’s easy to see how detrimental a fixed mindset can be to how well you develop
as a baseball player and why we value a growth mindset as much as we do at STRIKE.
Fixed Mindset Mindset Characteristics Growth Mindset
- Set-You have what you have Skills+Intelligence Can be grown and developed=
- How they look- Performance
- Main Concern Learning/Getting better-Process
- Something you do when you’re not good
- An important part of learning
- Give up/Check out Challenges Persevere/Work through it—
- Show more grit\
- Take it personal/Get defensive Feedback Like it/Use it to learn
- Hate them/Try to avoid making them
- Mistakes Treat them as a learning opportunity
So here is where the rubber meets the road, we are not set in one of these mindsets or the other. In fact, if you’ve been internalizing this, you’re probably asking yourself which mindset you see yourself as characterizing. The answer is both and the problem is, if we are not aware of which we are, when the crap hits the fan, we will slip into the fixed mindset…defensive and afraid that we will be embarrassed. That’s the bad news. The good news is; the more we train ourselves to be in the right mindset, the easier it will be!
So the challenge to STRIKENation is this: how can YOU develop a growth mindset? To answer that, you have to be aware of two things. First, what do you value most as a baseball player? Is it how you look to others, especially your dad? if so, guess what mindset you are in. Or, are you more committed to the process of becoming the best baseball player you can be? If that’s the case, as we’ve seen through what the experts have written, you’re upside is unlimited.
STRIKENation is a brotherhood of the growth mindset. If you haven’t already, come join The