DEVELOPMENTAL MINDSET – THE KEY TO MOTIVATION IN SPORT
Success starts in the head, whether at the professional level, in private life or in sport. In order to reach your fitness goals and succeed in your favorite sport, you will not only have to train regularly, improve your technique, adapt your diet, but also adopt the right attitude. And this is where the so-called “growth mindset” comes into play: it was Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University who invented this concept in her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success . It has since been found in numerous studies ( 1 , 2 , 3 , 4) which demonstrate that adopting the right mindset is crucial in (athletic) success. But what is a so-called “development” state of mind?
FIXED MINDSET VS. OF DEVELOPMENT
According to Dweck, there are two different states of mind: the so-called “fixed” state and the so-called “development” state. Have you ever thought to yourself that your body is not made for sports? Whether you were too thin, too short, too heavy or too weak? Maybe you compare yourself to others and think that you can never be as fit, as fast or as efficient as them? This way of thinking is called the fixed state of mind.
People with a fixed mindset:
- believe that intelligence and talent are innate and cannot be changed
- consider effort to be negative
- avoid any kind of challenge
- let themselves be discouraged by failures
- find it hard to take criticism
- see the success of others as competition
With such a mentality, it is difficult to motivate yourself to play sports and achieve your goals. Adopting a development mindset, on the other hand, can make things easier. Indeed, people with such a way of seeing things are convinced that their talent can develop through effort. They do not hesitate to take on new challenges, see criticisms and failures as learning opportunities. The success of others and their achievements inspire them. No matter how talented these athletes are, it is their effort and perseverance that got them where they are. Studies have shown that a developmental mindset improves self-efficacy, i.e. the ability to cope with certain situations, as well as self-esteem. This mindset also prompts you to train more often ( 5 ), which in turn will boost your resolve.
HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Do any of the characteristics of the fixed mindset sound familiar to you? Don’t panic, you are not alone. Fortunately, thanks to mental training, you will be able to reframe things to evolve towards a more constructive state of mind. The following tips will help you do this.
1. REDEFINE YOUR NOTION OF SUCCESS
It is not the goal that counts, but the path. This may sound cliché to you, but in this case, it is absolutely true. Being successful in sports doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run a marathon, know how to balance or lift huge dumbbells. The important thing is to give the best of you and to constantly improve yourself. Even if your goal is to run a (half) marathon, don’t forget to celebrate your first 5k or 10k. You have progressed and you should be proud of yourself. Need help setting goals ? Then discover the function of personal goals in the adidas Running app .
2. ACCEPT SETBACKS AND SETBACKS
Do you train regularly but still can’t manage to do a single push-up ? On your last run, did you run slower than expected? We all have setbacks, it’s part of the game and life would certainly be boring without them. But in every failure there is a lesson to be learned. Ask yourself how you could adapt your workout routine, if your goal is not a little too ambitious and most importantly, do not be discouraged!
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO INNOVATE AND TAKE ON NEW CHALLENGES
Get out of your comfort zone! Always wanted to try boxing but don’t think you have enough strength? Your friends invite you to go rock climbing with them but you’re afraid you won’t be able to do it? Stop thinking, go for it and be stronger than your excuses .
4. ACCEPT CRITICISM AND BE INSPIRED
Don’t be intimidated by the success of others. On the contrary, it should be your inspiration. Do not hesitate to ask for advice and see each review as an opportunity to improve yourself. For example, try these pro tips to find the right warm-up or to prepare for your first marathon .
So, are you ready to change your mindset and achieve your goals? So take part in our new “Train Like You” challenge in the adidas Training app and boost your motivation!