Google+ Blueprint for Football: Book Review: Mindset

Monday, November 9, 2015

Book Review: Mindset

As someone who tended to do well at school, quickly getting to grips with ideas that others struggled to absorb, I grew up thinking of myself as rather good academically.  My teachers told me I was and so did my parents so eventually that became part of my identity.

On the other hand, I always struggled with more manual and physical tasks.  Sports, for instance, didn’t come as naturally to me and so, while I loved watching it and envied those with greater ability than me, I never really did anything to challenge that concept.  I simply accepted that I wasn’t cut out for sports.

In time such beliefs spread elsewhere.  I loved writing, finding it easy whilst others sweated at it.  When I tried learning French, however, I struggled massively and eventually concluded that languages weren’t my strong point, even though I was fluent in three by that point.

Why am I sharing all this?  Because those beliefs are what this book is all about.  More specifically, it is all about how we – and those around us - straightjacket ourselves through such belief.  The words that we tell ourselves or are told have a powerful impact on how we think.  As Dweck points out in the book, there is research which shows that tests can be impacted negatively simply by reminding people of their racial background before the test kicks off.

Mindset is filled with such examples and how they impact people’s daily life.  It is such, frankly, a life changing book that will lead you to question your own beliefs, how you act and what you tell others.  This is a book that everyone should read regardless of where they are in their life.

Naturally, it is much more valuable if you have a group of players in your care.  It makes you appreciate more how to deal with them and how to talk to them if you want them to progress.  It also makes you realise that regardless of a player’s ability, you can make them better by guarding the way you talk to them so that you don’t put artificial limitations on them.

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