A growth mindset is an important tool for gymnasts and a great way to stay motivated in gymnastics.
This article contains a FREE printable.
Growth mindset has been all the buzz over the past few years.
Yet some gymnasts are still confused as to what exactly a growth mindset is and why it's important.
Today I'm going to explain what having a growth mindset means, why it's important, and how using quotes can inspire a growth mindset in gymnasts.
But first, snag this Gymnastics Growth Mindset Jar Printable NOW! Just click on the image below.
What Is A Growth Mindset
Growth mindset and resilience are terms coined by Carol Dweck, a famous psychologist from Stanford University.
Many years ago she performed a study where she presented children with increasingly difficult puzzles and challenges to see how they responded.
Surprisingly, she came across children who were incredibly excited by the challenge and she realized that perhaps growth and learning were things that weren't set in stone as she had originally believed.
Rather, perhaps it was possible for a child to cultivate learning through a series of different growth mindset activities.
Two Types of Growth Mindsets
To understand growth mindset, you have to first understand the two different mindsets which are a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
1. Fixed Mindset
In a fixed mindset a gymnast believes her talents and abilities are carved in stone.
She gives up easily, avoids challenges, sees effort as pointless, and is threatened by other gymnast's success.
2. Growth Mindset
On the other hand, in a growth mindset, a gymnast believes she can learn and grow and as a result, can change the outcome.
She keeps trying, seeks challenges, puts forth effort, and is inspired by other gymnast's success.
So why is a growth mindset important, especially in gymnastics?
Gymnastics is a tough sport that requires discipline and effort.
Gymnastics skills are hard to learn and even harder to execute.
It takes grit to learn them which means gymnasts must be persistent and not give up easily.
"If a gymnast has a fixed mindset she will not make it in gymnastics."
She will see her ability as fixed and will not think she can do anything to improve her skill set.
She will give up easily and stop trying.
On the flip side, if a gymnast has a growth mindset, she will be more likely to accept a challenge.
When things get tough she will keep trying until she gets it.
She will be more likely to persist and stick with gymnastics even as the skills she learns get tougher.
Therefore you can see how important it is for gymnasts to develop a growth mindset.
How do we help our gymnasts develop a growth mindset?
Here are some tips for what you can do as coaches or parents to help your gymnasts improve on their growth mindset:
Tip #1: Praise Effort and Not Natural Talent
While it's easy to praise a gymnast who has natural talent and gets skills easily, it's not so easy to remember to praise effort in gymnasts who have a harder time learning skills. In fact, even in a gymnast who learns a skill easily, it's best to focus on her learning process and not the end result. When you praise a gymnast for her talent, you can put her into a fixed mindset.
Coaches and parents can work to praise a gymnast's effort along the way. When the focus is on effort and trying, it helps to improve a growth mindset. This can also help when working with a gymnast who is too hard on herself.
Tip #2: Use The Power of YET
Yet is an important word in developing a growth mindset in gymnasts because it puts the focus on the journey. Sure, a gymnast might not be able to do a kip, but in reality she "can't do a kip YET." She WILL eventually learn how to do a kip so if you focus on the process of learning and not the actual end result of learning the skill, you'll help to foster a growth mindset in your gymnast.
Tip #3: Use A Growth Mindset Jar To Teach A Gymnast How To Foster A Growth Mindset
If you haven't downloaded the free Gymnastics Growth Mindset Jar printable yet, definitely download it ASAP. This printable helps gymnasts learn how to have a growth mindset. In this activity, a gymnast will tear off a piece of paper that signifies the growth mindset thought she used that day in practice and put it in her jar. When she tears off all of the growth mindset tasks and fills up her jar, she gets a reward.
A reward can be extra mother-daughter time, her choice of gymnastics movie, extra time on her ipad, or anything else you decide upon ahead of time. This is a great activity to teach your gymnast what having a growth mindset means.
While developing a growth mindset takes time, there is an easy way to get started on this journey of growth which is by repeating growth mindset quotes daily.
The quotes below are examples of growth mindset quotes that gymnasts can use.
You can pick your favorite ones and write them down on index cards.
Read these on the way to the gym or before you go to bed at night.
The more you do this, the more you will start to believe these words.
Growth Mindset Quotes For Gymnasts
Here are 20 powerful growth mindset quotes for gymnasts:
Remember, pick a few of these growth mindset quotes and write them down on an index card. Then read them daily.
Having a growth mindset is crucial in gymnastics. Gymnasts with a growth mindset are better able to handle challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and approach learning new skills with excitement instead of dread.
Growth Mindset Resources for Gymnasts
Check out my 5 Day Mini Course on developing a growth mindset in gymnastics. You'll get 5 video trainings along with a PDF to go along with each training.
If you haven't already, be sure to grab My Gymnastics Growth Mindset Jar Printable.
These Stick It Girl Quote Cards are also great for fostering a growth mindset as well as for adding in some motivation.
Check out my list of the 5 Best Gymnastics Movies For Inspiring A Growth Mindset.
Let me know in the comments below if you used any of these resources and if they helped.
If you or your gymnast needs support, in addition to the resources below I also offer one-on-one coaching sessions via Zoom.
- Stick It Girl Academy: For competitive gymnasts who want to live into their potential and need that extra push in mental training
- Mental Health Training for Gymnasts: Help your gymnast learn about her brain and the fight-flight-or-freeze response.
- Free Facebook Group for Moms of Gymnasts: Join this group to chat with other gymnastics moms and get tips for how to help your gymnast navigate through the mental ups and downs of gymnastics