Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Champion....

After I read the above quote, I thought a lot about what it means to be A Champion, and I started to do some research...

I found this article:

The Mindset of a Champion

  • Carol Dweckby Carol DweckLewis & Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology

There are things that distinguish great athletes—champions—from others. Most of the sports world thinks it’s their talent, but I will argue that it’s their mindset. This idea is brought to life by the story of Billy Beane, told so well by Michael Lewis in the book Moneyball (Lewis, 2003). When Beane was in high school, he was in fact a huge talent–what they call a “natural.” He was the star of the basketball team, the football team, and the baseball team–and he was all of these things without much effort. People thought he was the new Babe Ruth.
However, as soon as anything went wrong, Beane lost it. He didn’t know how to learn from his mistakes, nor did he know how to practice to improve. Why? Because naturals shouldn’t make mistakes or need practice. When Beane moved up to baseball’s major leagues, things got progressively worse. Every at-bat was a do-or-die situation and with every out he fell apart yet again.  If you’re a natural, you believe that you shouldn’t have deficiencies, so you can’t face them and coach or practice them away.
Beane’s contempt for learning and his inability to function in the face of setbacks—where did this come from? With avid practice and the right coaching he could have been one of the greats. Why didn’t he seek that? I will show how his behavior comes right out of his mindset.
In my work, I have identified two mindsets about ability that people may hold (Dweck, 1999; Dweck, 2006; Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Some hold a fixed mindset, in which they see abilities as fixed traits. In this view, talents are gifts—you either have them or you don’t.
Other people, in contrast, hold a growth mindset of ability. They believe that people can cultivate their abilities. In other words, they view talents as potentialities that can be developed through practice. It’s not that people holding this mindset deny differences among people. They don’t deny that some people may be better or faster than others at acquiring certain skills, but what they focus on is the idea that everyone can get better over time.

After I read this article, I think that is appropriate to apply these two mindsets to not only sports, but to other areas of our lives as well.

I have noticed students who feel that they should not take an advance class if the subject matter does not come easily to them. They do not believe that they can cultivate their ability. I am noticing more and more students and people, in general, who do not believe that if you do something over and over that they will get better. There seems to be this attitude of either I have it or I don't...

I have been around some really awesome people lately; people who are taking their lives to new levels, and the thing that all of these people have in common is that they are all working their butts off to improve their skills.
My cycling teammate, Kaitlyn, is such a strong cyclist. I look at her and marvel and think to myself that one day I am going to ride like Kaitlyn. One part of my mind says that you will never be a strong cyclist like Kaitlyn, but the other side of mind says that one day you will ride as strong as Kaitlyn.

I could assume that Kaitlyn has natural abilities, and I believe that she does, but I also know that she works her butt off.

Last night we did an awfully hilly ride, I am definitely improving, but Kaitlyn was killing those hills. I just looked at her and thought: "One day I will be killing those hills as well."

After that ride, I sent Kaitlyn a message, and I asked, "How did you get so good on those hills?"

Kaitlyn replied, "Repeats and making myself suffer and then suffer again and then suffer again. Half of bike racing is learning how much suffering you can take and then making yourself suffer even more." (Sounds like a Champion doesn't she? Well, she is.)

I don't know about you, but when I leave this earth, I want to leave as a Champion. I want to leave here knowing that I did not shy away from challenges, I cultivated my abilities, I pushed myself to the limit, I encouraged others to reach their highest potential...

I am going to keep suffering and growing so that I can live the rest of my life as a Champion! (Suffering ain't always a bad thing!)

Oh, To Be A Champion......

My Champion!


Unknown said...

Awesome write up.. You have inspired me to take another assessment of myself. I just struggled with the idea that I was in over my head but, I took a chance and pushed through what felt like a brick wall (fear).. Let me tell you that the greatest feeling in the world is a small step or accomplishment in the direction you most feared you would fail.

Thanks so much for this write up.. It came at the right time for me... Heading out to get on my bike and ride.. :-)

You just inspired a blog..

Jacqueline said...

Go and get 'em Will...

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