Champions mindset

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Talent is an admirable human characteristic that can be acquired as well as created. Throughout history, the world news has always been full of newspaper pages in print, as well as on social media or streaming outlets, about exceptional athletes. Carol Dweck, the author of “The Mentality of a Champion,” discusses the theme of sports in chapter four by delving into the theories of both the fixed and development mindsets (Dweck 203). The talented sports champions that Dweck mentions across the chapter include Tiger Woods, Duiana Nyad, Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, and Pete Sampras among others. Dweck seems to develop much interest in the athlete named Billy Beane, as the author uses Beane as the best example to outline both the fixed and the growth mindsets. For instance, the athlete was a successful sportsman, but he lost track due to the fixed mindset he had, as he liked success but feared to fail, leading to his early drop outside of his career (Dweck 224). Nevertheless, when he engaged the growth mindset, Dweck indicates that Beane came back to an excellent platform, as he ended up as an admirable manager of baseball. Therefore, other than highlighting the main ideas of Dweck in this text, it is also imperative that a critical analysis reflecting the fixed and growth mindset on sports is done.

The Main Ideas by Dweck in Chapter Four

The elements of mindset and abilities are central in the discussions of Dweck in chapter four of her work. She is very categorical about the people who have fixed mindsets, that is, they have made a final decision on whatever will happen, and whether such people are bound to succeed or to fail, they are never willing to put in any effort for a better outcome (Dweck 266). Dweck says such people do not have control over themselves and their resultant abilities. She agrees that talent is necessary to take people through sports; nevertheless, she insists that everybody should put effort into it, as without talent, but with training, somebody can even do better than the talented. If someone does not embrace the growth mindset but choose the fixed mindset, she says, “You are not a work in progress, you’re a finished product.  And finished products have to protect themselves, lament, and blame. Everything but take charge” (Dweck 5).  It is a very unwelcomed experience to ever happen in one's life according to Dweck. As such, people with fixed mindsets do not appreciate or recognize failure because they feel insecure, and that marks the beginning of their undoing.

The other subject Dweck discusses in chapter four is the effects of the theories of mindset when taught to young children, and how they should perceive their work after that. She notes that the use of both positive and negative comments is unhealthy for the young minds, as either way both options create fixed mindsets in children. While the negative comments impair the abilities of the child and blackmail their efforts to pursue excellence, the positive feedback as well ruins their perceptions and compromise their overall goodwill. Dweck asserts that “So telling children they’re smart, in the end, made them feel dumber and act dumber, but claim they were smarter” (Dweck 6).  She challenges her audience that that is not the ultimate expectations from the kids; however, a fixed mindset can only deliver that. Further, she concludes, “I don’t think this is what we’re aiming for when we put positive labels – “gifted,” “talented,” “brilliant” – on people” (Dweck 7).  Even though the goodwill of the comments could mean otherwise, but an adverse outcome remains a primary risk. Therefore, as sportspersons, everybody is challenged to try it out until they finally achieve, remain diverse and optimistic in learning and such is a growth mindset. As opposed to the fixed mindset in sports, the growth mindset is willing to fail, but learn from the failure and pick up once more to do better next time, hence creating a formidable platform toward rising to excellence.

A Response to Dweck`s Ideas

In chapter four, Dweck takes her readers on a literal journey, curving around vivid trajectories that mirror the success and excellence in different sports and what exactly contributes to the realized success by those who are crowned as champions. When subject to the test of reason, the arguments by Dweck remain rational when she argued that both talent, natural, and physical advantageous are desirable for success in sports, nevertheless, endurance, discipline, practice and passion are indispensable elements for one to remain relevant and successful, hence the growth mindset. Scholarly evidence has revealed that people, who persist in training, embrace the growth mindset to fail but continue on the course of the trial, are the eventual champions in sports. Furthermore, the ability of personalities to accept failure and come up with strategies to counter the weakness is a critical evaluation by the author which makes her work realistic. Indeed, by engaging the procedural and hence the detailed methodology by Dweck, one can excellently achieve as a sportsperson, especially by learning to face defeat and failure, so that a challenge in attitude or emotions once encountered should not bar future attempts. Nevertheless, agreeing with Dweck entirely on her argument that a fixed mindset automatically leads to failure is not expressly correct in entirety. Contrary to her argument, research has confirmed that there are people who cannot take in and contain the heat of failure on the field. However, the natural fear and anxiety in them often power them to do their best (Dweck 293). Such people do not necessarily need the growth mindset; rather, a fixed mindset that they are meant for winning with the fear of failure propelling them to success.

Works Cited

Dweck, Carol. "Chapter 4. Sports: The Mindset of a Champion." Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential, 5th ed., Constable & Robinson, 2012, pp. 1-364.

---. "Mindsets: Developing Talent Through a Growth Mindset." Olympic Coach, vol. 21, no. 1, 2009, pp. 4-7, - MINDSETS by Carol Dweck 2.09.pdf.

August 09, 2021


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