The Growth Mindset is such an essential part of success that I felt the need to share more about it! As previously mentioned, “in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." (Dweck) This is in contrast to the fixed mindset where "people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” Developing a growth mindset is integral in learning and development. In order to do so, Dweck suggests that you follow the process...
Step 1. Embrace your fixed mindset (at least acknowledge it). It is important to note, that people exhibit both mindsets at certain times and for certain things. The first step is to just acknowledge your fixed mindset.
Step 2. Become aware of what triggers your fixed mindset. It can be when you are faced with a new challenge. A deadline approaching. An injury. A missed promotion. An award or acknowledgement not received. A lost relationship. A recent raise. Someone else's success. Whatever it is, your goal is to identify what causes/caused you to fall into the fixed mindset trap. Do not judge yourself for this, but just observe what happens to your mindset.
Step 3. Give your fixed mindset a persona. From here, you can separate yourself from this mindset by giving it a name. Notice the trends of your thought processes, the emotions, and feelings that you have when this persona comes out.
Step 4. Learn to use the growth mindset instead. Teach this newly named persona how you will take these triggers and turn it into a learning experience.
Step 5. Spread the growth mindset. Make new goals every day. Remind yourself to take the growth approach. Ask yourself what you have learned today? Teach others based on your experiences. Continue to focus on your growth!
Identifying, separating, and converting your mindset from a fixed to growth mindset is the ultimate goal. You will tend to fall into a fixed mindset at times because it is easy or a learned response. The fixed mindset is there because of a reason. Whether it was developed as a conditioned response, an efficient way of thinking, or as a result of trauma or other past experience...it'll find it's way to creep back in. Your response to the identified fixed mindset is key. The goal is to stop it before it starts weighing you down and to convert it into a positively growth driven force.
For more information on mindsets and how to develop the growth mindset, I HIGHLY recommend Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
The Achilles tendon, the powerful lower leg tendon that acquired it's name from the famous Ancient Greek warrior of the Trojan War is now a significant concern for another Warrior- Kevin Durant. The weakness of the famous Greek is now presenting itself in Golden State.
Achilles ruptures are known for their long rehabilitation times. In an elite basketball player, typically surgery is the option with a recovery time of approximately 9-12 months. To note, this is the time it would be expected to see the player back on the court, not at full potential. To allow for successful healing of the tendon repair, the initial stage requires the athlete to be nonweightbearing on crutches. This can range from 2 to 8 weeks, depending on surgeon, patient, and the repair itself. At around 6-8 weeks, the patient will begin to progress toward full weight bearing in a walking boot and physical therapy will be initiated. The physical therapy protocol tends to be very slow and conservative. Over time, The patient will eventually be weened from the walking boot to regular shoes with use of heel wedges (gradually bringing them into normal ankle ROM). Restoring ankle ROM, minimizing swelling, protecting the repair, and tissue healing are the first steps in the process. At first, ROM will typically be restricted by surgical protocol to allow for healing. Once significant healing has occurred (generally around 3-6 months) full ROM is encouraged and walking in a regular shoe may be tolerated.
Strengthening of the calf muscles can not be initiated until the repair has experienced significant healing to withstand load. This is going to be specific to patient, doctor, and the repair itself. Initial strengthening of the calf will typically start with isometric and low grade isotonic exercises (ie. theraband). As time passes, and healing takes place, a progressive closed chain strengthening routine is followed to slowly reintroduce body weight forces on the achilles tendon. It is not until significant healing and strengthening have occurred that running and sport specific movements (agility, jumping, etc.) can be reintroduced. Depending on everything, you are looking at approximately 6-9 months before running (and other controlled sport specific movements) can be safely reintroduced. Throughout the rehab process, the athlete will focus on kinetic chain, upper body and core strengthening to further ensure safe return to sport.
The achilles rupture is an injury that leads to a long road to recovery. It is one that can change the career trajectory of an athlete and can be a physical, mental, and emotional challenge. Fortunately, KD is faced with this obstacle earlier than most (at age 30). His age and athletic level should play in his favor. KD's rehab process will be integral to avoid the approximate 5% rerupture rate and to return to his previous level of greatness. Only time will tell, whether the injury that determined the fate of the Greek Warrior will have the same effect on the NBA career of the Golden State Warrior.
Check out this Sports Illustrated article to see how other NBA players have faired in their recovery from Achilles rupture.
In a fixed mindset, Dweck states that "people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them. They also believe that talent alone creates success—without effort.” A person with a fixed mindset will tend to rely on external validation of their talent. This validation will confirm positive thoughts about their talents and abilities. Validation serves as motivation. Any absence of validation (or worse invalidation) serves as a threat to their talents and ability. Research has shown that individuals with a fixed mindset tend to avoid failure, be debilitated by failures, and will seek validation at all costs (including: lie, cheat, steal).
Dweck writes that “in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment." This is the individual who sees failure, obstacles, and challenges as an opportunity to learn/grow. They do not require the external validation of results, awards, and successes to fuel their egos because they love the journey, and the learning that comes along with it. They strive to always become a better version of themselves for the sake of becoming better, not because of recognition.
The growth mindset is the ideal. It is the foundation of what Tough Grit Performance is all about. To enjoy the ride of life and all of it's trials and tribulations. To take each obstacle thrown in your way, and use it as an opportunity to grow. To not rely on the feedback or praise of others, and to live the life you love... because you love it. To share this growth mindset with others and build strong healthy relationships. To use this mindset in all avenues of life. To recognize instances in which one may develop a fixed mindset, and incorporate the growth mindset instead. To own mistakes, no matter how painful it may feel. To gain knowledge from what went wrong, and strive to be better. When "something bad happens to you", to use it as a learning experience or an opportunity to improve yourself. To develop habits that encourage this growth mindset. Lift weights. Read books. Volunteer. Ask questions. Challenge your thoughts and opinions. Focus on your health and the health of others. Grow.
For more information on mindsets and how to develop the growth mindset, refer to Carol Dweck's book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
Pull ups can be seen as a true test of one's upper body strength, endurance, and power. Lats, biceps, shoulders, rotator cuff, pecs, forearms, upper back, glutes, trunk, abs... it's a movement that requires input from a majority of the big players in the upper half of the body. There is no wonder why the pull up can be seen as one of the more difficult body weight exercises to perform. Throw in the facts that we traditionally do not hang from objects, sit long periods of time manipulating objects in front of us, and tend to not pull things down from over head...this movement can be extremely foreign (especially when the object you are pulling is a 150 lbs + of dead weight). So what are the first steps to overcome this vertical challenge? This month we will explore some exercises to get you on the path to pull up success. The first step is to learn how to hang.
Start by grabbing on to a pull up bar. Let yourself sink passively to perform a dead hang. Get a feel on how it is to hang vertically. Squeeze the bar hard to feel your grip and the muscles of your forearm engage. This will allow you to build grip endurance, that is required to perform a pull up. Once you are able to hold for 60 seconds, progress to an active hang.
The active hang involves locking down the shoulder blades. From the dead hang position, tighten your abs and glutes to create a stable base to anchor your lats from. Next, draw your shoulder blades down and back to create tension in your upper back, as well as your lats. Eventually, this will be the starting position of a pull up. Build this up to 60s.
The next installment, we will look at control of the pull up through the range of motion.