Developing The Growth Mindset
CrossFit is hard. Let's begin with that. No matter what skills and strength we come in with the chances are that we have deficiencies in some areas. If we come from a strength background then we may have all the strength required for barbell movements, but really struggle with gymnastics. And vice versa. Maybe it isn’t anything to do with the actual movements. Maybe it's nutrition. Maybe we are a good athlete but our nutrition is holding us back.
So how do we work around this?
We must have a growth mindset. A growth mindset means that we know that we are given a certain skill set, but with consistent work, failure, and determination we can improve on whatever it is we want to develop. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset which means we believe we are given a set amount of skills and we can’t change it.
Think about that for a second and try and decipher which one we are.
CrossFit takes time, patience, and perseverance, just like anything worthwhile in life. If we walk in the gym and see people doing things we can’t and just believe they have it and we don’t then we will never grow or develop as an athlete.
Firstly, we should never base what we can do off of what others can do. If we spend too much time checking other people’s scores and watching what they can do then we will fail to fulfill our own potential. Instead, use the growth mindset to put our head down and work. Set goals in order to see the progress we are making. It can’t always be PR’s and successes, those come with hard work, but there can always be progress.
“The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when nobody else is looking.”- Mia Hamm
Mia Hamm, arguably the greatest women’s soccer player of all time had a growth mentality. She challenged herself every day. It started when she was young by playing up an age group and against boys. Then she challenged herself to go to the best collegiate program so she could work with the best and continue developing around other great athletes. After that, it was on to the professional ranks and the US National soccer team. Every step was about growth. Mia didn’t just all of a sudden become the greatest, she worked at it from a young age.
Social media also has a role to play. A lot of times we only see the fun stuff. The cool PR’s athletes hit or the accomplishments they have achieved. We don’t see the months and years of work they have put in to get to that point. All successful athletes have a growth mindset. None of them got there by believing they could not improve on what they were given.
Every day, every movement, every rep is an opportunity to get better, to grow. Every bad day spent practicing and training will lead to a good day. We must believe in growth and we must work at it. Focus each day on making small improvements, be excited about them and celebrate them, and then continue to build on them.