Mindsets that help kids do well in sports

John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, gives parents a greater understanding on the important mindsets that help children succeed in sports and athletics.
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Mindsets that help kids do well in sports

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For kids to do well in sports over the long-term, they need what Dr. Carol Dweck calls a growth mindset, but really what that comes down to is the realization that getting better in sports or any achievement activity is a process and it’s not an outcome. So, what I talk about in sports all the time is you can have a success-oriented mindset or an excellence-oriented mindset. An excellence mindset will provide far more long-term success than just focusing on today’s outcome or this week’s outcome because people who focus on excellence, they focus on the process of getting a little bit better every day. Failure is a part of excellence. It’s okay to make a mistake. It’s okay to lose a game. The best players in the world, they make the most mistakes, but they’re not afraid to make another mistake and that’s how they make the next play. I think one of the best things about instilling and helping your child come up with an excellence mindset is that people who value excellence also value the success of others. So, when their teammates do well or other teams beat them, they’re able to win and lose with class and they’re able to congratulate and support teammates when they have their moment in the sun versus people who are so focus on success that when they don’t win or when they’re not the MVP, the whole world starts to fall apart. So, the mindset for the greatest long-term success in any sport is to focus on daily excellence.

John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, gives parents a greater understanding on the important mindsets that help children succeed in sports and athletics.

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John O'Sullivan

Founder of Changing The Game Project

John O’Sullivan founded the Changing the Game Project in 2012 in order to help parents, coaches and youth sports organizations create a more child-centered sports experience for our young athletes. John is a former collegiate and professional player, and worked for 20 years on the youth, high school and college level as a coach and club Technical Director. He holds a USSF A License, NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and a US Youth Soccer National License. His blog is now one of the most popular youth sports websites in the US, and he has been a featured presenter at TEDx Bend Oregon, IMG Academy, and this week at the NSCAA Convention. The Changing the Game Project provides live and online parent and coaching education workshops, webinars, and consulting services.

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