Mindsets: Developing Swimming Talent Through a Growth Mindset

Howard Schein, Swim Coach                         

With Carol Dweck,  Lewis and  Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Link to the  ASCA (American Swim Coach Association) Newsletter 2010 (8) that contains the printed article (without references and acknowledgements)

Link to the NISCA (National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association) Journal (Nov/Dec, 2010) article (with references and acknowledgements)

Link to the original Manuscript that includes the reference section and acknowledgements.

I suggest that coaches/parents read:

How not to talk to your kids:  The inverse power of praise.  Po Bronson (NY Times Magazine)

The Mundanity of Excellence:  An Ethnographic Report on Stratification and Olympic Swimmers.  Daniel F. Chambliss in Sociological Theory

The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance  K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf Th. Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Romer  in Psychological Review

How the Mindsets article begins:

Mindsets: Developing Swimming Talent Through a Growth Mindset

Howard Schein, University of Illinois Laboratory High School; Champaign County YMCA HEAT Swim Club with Carol S. Dweck, Stanford University.

About a year ago I read a very short but laudatory book review by George Block in the ASCA Newsletter. I promptly read Mindset by Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck and was amazed at the immediacy of the new lens that Professor Dweck gave me for looking at the swimmers I coach. I sent the review to Carol, a friend from her days at the University of Illinois, and asked her if she’d write an article that introduced swim coaches to her ideas. This article, modified from an article Carol wrote for Olympic Coach (V 21 #1 2009) and from Mindset, is the result of our collaboration:

Coaches are often frustrated and puzzled. They look back over their careers and realize that some of their most talented athletes—athletes who seemed to have everything-- never achieved success. Why? One answer as seen through Dweck's lens is that they didn't have the right mindset.

Dweck's research identifies two mindsets that people can have about their talents and abilities: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.