Growth Mindset 10/20/2019
In 2016 I started a 501c3, Hat Trick Training Academy (HTT for short) that is geared toward helping student athletes reach their goals. We use physical training, along with key concepts of sports to help them understand and expand their knowledge of what is required of them and their sport. Over the last year, we have branched out from helping athletes to coaches in game play, tactics, on and off ice drills etc. However, this past summer I thought we have been getting into a little bit of a funk when it came to getting the newer athletes to open their minds and see what is going on in the hockey world around them. We need something newer, something catchy and something that will allow us to move our athletes and coaches from one level to the next. Growth Mindset is the answer.
Growth Mindset is a newer theory coined by Dr. Carol Dweck in 2006. It says (paraphrased) that essentially there are 2 types of mindsets in people. One group is ”Fixed Mindset” while the other is “Growth Mindset.” Fixed are people who believe that you are born with certain traits and there is no getting around it. You can train or study and the outcome will still be the same. You are either born with it or you’re not. While in contrast, the Growth Mindset believes that you can achieve goals by training, studying, working hard and learning from failures and experiences. There are no obstacles, only challenges. And those challenges make you learn more.
While searching for Growth Mindset information, I found little on the internet for ice hockey players and coaches. Since there wasn’t much information, I sent some tweets out to a few retired NHL’ers: The Peoples Captain and NHL Tough guy with a heart of gold John Scott, Stanley Cup Champion Martin St. Louis, Dallas Stars long time goalie Marty Turco along with Stuart Holden, a retired international footballer/soccer player from the United States. I asked if they have ever used Growth Mindset and if they could recall a time they did. As of now, I have received only one response and that was from retired goalie Marty Turco. Turco spent 11 years in the NHL and played for the Dallas Stars, Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. Famed NHL analyst and former Coach Don Cherry named Marty Turco as, “The smartest goalie in the NHL.” (Wikipedia Marty Turco) When Marty responded to the tweet, he said, “I may have to Google the term.” That made me scratch my head and wonder if the athletes I asked are too old for such a young theory. I decided to ask a 15-year-old goalie I used to coach if he knew what Growth Mindset was, and he did because his father had shown him a video about it. I asked another youth goalie and he, like Marty Turco, wasn’t too sure what 0Growth Mindset is. With that being said, there looks like there is a lack of information regarding Growth Mindset in youth ice hockey and in the ice hockey world itself.
I did come across one website, BuiltForHockey.com, run by retired semi-pro Canadian hockey player and coach Ben Levesque. One article Coach Levesque wrote is “3-Step Process for Effective Hockey Player Development” which is all about utilizing Growth Mindset for youth hockey. He does praise and utilize Dr. Dweck’s teachings and theory by saying, “lack of talent, is a myth” in that to be a talented hockey player you must have some talent that is then worked upon with hard work and “Purposeful Practice,” to achieve being a great hockey player. Purposeful practice isn’t like any other practice as it has to have “Goal Setting, Self-Evaluation and asking for Feedback.” This practice isn’t just geared toward players but is also geared toward coaches and parents. Coach Levesque says, “Praise the effort, not the talent,” and to not force your child as it will eventually come. It would be great to use HTT and collaborate with “Built For Hockey” on videos talking about Growth Mindset.
Learning about and researching Growth Mindset has ignited my fire again for learning and teaching the game to the public. Working in this course and using Growth Mindset is going to allow me to push away my tendencies to not follow through in fear of recourse or criticism and just put myself out there to learn on what I can do to be better to be an effective teacher, instructor and coach, and what I should stay away from that might hinder the learning of players and coaches.
The Hat Trick Training Academy plan is to utilize and work with Dr. Dweck’s “Growth Mindset” theory to not only help local athletes but to start publishing videos online weekly with our findings and what we believe ice hockey coaches and players of today need to learn, especially in the United States.
We will begin every video in the Growth Mindset series with a brief introduction explaining what growth mindset is, its benefits and why it is so important to use it in ice hockey, as a coach and a player.
We will utilize the Dr. Dweck’s “Determine Your Mindset” self-test to see if the participants are “Fixed” or “Growth” Mindset. Those questions will include:
- “Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.”
- “You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.”
- “No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.”
- “You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.”
It won’t matter what the outcome of the test is. The video series is for everyone. We want to get across the benefits of the Growth Mindset to every person no matter, intellect, skill, talent, color, religion or age. In the research we found that Growth Mindset can work at almost any age. USA Hockey uses the American Development Model (ADM) for its grass roots campaign. My thoughts on the ADM is that the coaches are not aware of Growth Mindset and how to properly teach it for the players to understand. I was one of those coaches for a very long time. Dave Pond published an article titled “How 8-Year-Olds Learn Best” with ADM showing that players are responding well to, “environment where you learn from mistakes,” and parents are encouraged to, “praise and reward the effort and hard work,” the kids put in. Later I came across a video on YouTube of an 8 year old skateboarder from Australia who is using Growth Mindset to achieve his dream of becoming a skateboarder after he lost his confidence. Growth Mindset isn’t just for hockey players or people of a certain age, it’s for everyone.
On our website we will work on showing the logic and benefits of having a Growth Mindset for ice hockey and how using it can help improve the participants hockey knowledge and learn life lessons that can be used far away from the ice hockey rink.
One subject that I am excited to talk about is how hockey is still played in parts of America. The game is played North and South on the rink, going in straight line up and down the ice. It is an old way of hockey that is not very effective in the ever-changing world game. We want to educate, enlighten and teach coaches and players how to play a type of game that has been used in Europe over the last 20 years. We will use videos, graphics, speeches, game plays, interactive quizzes and programs and as well as coaching tools such as virtual coaching boards to instill or develop and share growth mindset activities among participants.
One of the best coaches in the world used Growth Mindset before it was a real thing. That coach was Herb Brooks. Coach Brooks coached the 1980 USA Hockey Olympic team used a style of hockey people didn’t think was effective, because it was foreign. He used the way the Russians played and trained and adopted it to training and teaching the American college students that made up the team. Coach Brooks got the team to open their mind up (after a while) to understanding a different way of hockey and a different way and playing the game. We know what happened next. Yes, the American kids and a coach that wasn’t afraid to fail, beat the Soviet Union, a team comprised of men that were professional players who had won four consecutive Olympic gold medals.
The plan for our coaches and staff is to make sure they are using a Growth Mindset model when it comes to developing drills, skills, challenges, programs and other activities. Coaches use the “Change Your Mindset Model to help achieve this:
- Learn to Hear Your Fixed Mindset!
- Recognize that you have a choice.
- Talk back to it with a growth mindset.
- Take Growth Mindset action. – Growth Mindset, let’s go change the world!
Coaches utilizing the Growth Mindset will allow the users and participants to get the most out of the training.
We will utilize our Hat Trick Training Academy website and blog (www.hattrickacademy.com), Youtube (www.youtube.com/HatTrickPensacola), Facebook (www.facebook.com/HatTrickTrainingAcademy), Instagram (@HatTrickPensacola) and Twitter (@HTT_Academy) to spread the word an direct everyone to the YouTube Channel for the video presentation.