The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset, in which you put limits on yourself and believe that you cannot reach your goal. One of the most common examples of a fixed mindset can be seen when a child says, “I don’t like math, I’m not good at it.” This implies that math is something that you are inherently good or bad at, and that hard work won’t change that.
In the same way, it is our hope that we will be able to foster a growth mindset within our swimmers. Many students may come into their lessons with the idea that they are not good swimmers or that they will never be able to learn to swim. When this is the case, it is essential for them to develop confidence and see that their hard work pays off. Whether they are learning to swim for the first time or trying to refine their strokes, failure is inevitable but not permanent. The more practice, hard work, and confidence that a student has, the closer they will get to their goals.
Remember the importance of a growth mindset, and the next time you hear someone say “I’m not good at swimming” or “I’ll never be able to dive,” be sure to encourage that they persevere and use the obstacles as an opportunity to work hard and gain confidence.