August 22, 2017

Identifying a fixed & growth mindset in practice by Matthew Cooke, World Junior Golf Advisory Board

Identifying a fixed & growth mindset in practice by Matthew Cooke, World Junior Golf Advisory Board

An extremely powerful factor that can compromise deliberate practice is the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. When golfers enter practice with a growth mindset, they go into it with the idea that the experiences they will have will enable them to become a better player. These golfers also look forward to the challenge of specific practice tasks because they see it not as a way to rate their ‘talent’, but as a method to help them identify current strengths, as well as weaknesses that will require specific training to overcome. Golfers with a growth mindset enjoy difficult and challenging conditions attached to their practices.

Golfers who enter practice with a fixed mindset do not embrace difficult situations. They prefer to compete in situations and conditions that they are very familiar with, and with which they are most comfortable. These golfers prefer familiarity as they see it as a way of reinforcing current impressions about their strengths. Fixed mindsets also tend to be found in golfers who believe that if they have to work hard to succeed then they do not possess the “right skills” to succeed. And they simply do not have the “natural gifts” necessary. Golfers with a fixed mindset seem to find difficult conditions to be unfair or biased against them. Dr. K Anders Ericsson published material exposing an interesting insight to how a fixed mindset would react to an unfavorable outcome – Any performance failure, according to their accounts, is associated with bad luck.

Golfers with a growth mindset do not hold these limiting and destructive characteristics. They believe that skills can be learned, and that hard and efficient work over a long period of time is the best solution.

Some more recent research & studies have revealed that parents can have a remarkable effect on shaping the attitudes that are associated with fixed and growth mindsets. More specifically, it has been found that parents style of explanations can strongly influence whether their children will adopt a growth or fixed mindset.

Matthew Cooke
Founder – Game Like Training Golf
Director of Instruction – Matthew Cooke Golf Academy

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