Athletes with a fixed mindset believe that their current decision making is the right approach and fail to critique their actions. These athletes rarely dig into the details of why attacks stuck, why breaks formed, and have excuses without personal responsibility for why they weren’t there. These athletes typically complain about the actions of others and how those others prevented their success. These athletes typically worry more about not having success, get upset by mistakes and mechanical issues, and give up sooner on tough tasks. Athletes with a fixed mindset often leave a race and tell themselves that training more will fix the problem, and never look beyond that single dimension of competition. Athletes with a fixed mindset often think they have a thorough understanding of the causes and effects of situations, and rarely ask questions of others in order to develop a more thorough understand and different perspectives.
Characteristics of a Fixed Mindset:
- Give up easily when faced with obstacles
- Ignore useful negative feedback
- Avoid challenges
- Fear public failure
- Feel threatened by the success of others
Athletes with a growth mindset believe that ability can change as a result of effort, perseverance, and practice. You might hear them say, “that race was hard, but there are a number of things I can do differently…” Athletes with a growth mindset see mistakes as ways to learn, embrace challenges, and persist in the face of setbacks. Most importantly, athletes with growth mindset accept responsibility for their results, and work to identify multiple areas for improvement. These athletes understand the multidimensional aspect of endurance sport, and the interplay between these dimensions. Besides training and nutrition, these athletes are constantly endeavoring to improve techniques and gain a deeper understanding of tactics.
Athletes with a growth mindset:
- Are more motivated and engaged, even when work is challenging
- Embrace criticisms
- Are more likely to review or revise their approach
- Continue to see better results throughout a season
- Drop out of fewer races
- Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
- Are more likely to persist within the sport over years