Grit, Part 1


(I missed two weeks due to NCISAA, ACCS, and vacation, so I am going to do three back-to-back to get caught up. They are all related so they carry one major thought process. Good summer reading! I did these three last winter and spring for coaches so some of you may have seen these before. Always great reminders though!)

I watched a show on Fox called “Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test.” Sixteen celebrities are put through ten days of physical and mental tests in Jordan. The goal is to finish. You are only eliminated if you are medically disqualified or if you quit. The “winners” are those who finish. Here is the trailer – Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test | IMDb.

What struck me the most was the phrase at the two-minute mark, “I think you grow when you are uncomfortable.” I wish so much our students could get past the fear of failure and know what they are actually capable of. Not just for now but for their lives after CCS.

This made me think of when I read the book Grit by Angela Duckworth. I included some of the statements I wrote down when I read it below.

  • “Without effort your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but did not. With effort, talent becomes skill and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive.”
  • “When you keep searching for ways to change your situation for the better, you stand a chance of finding them. When you stop searching, assuming they cannot be found, you guarantee they won’t.”

I recently referenced the difference between the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. Below is a table from the book contrasting the two.

Comments that contrast the two mindsets and promote behavior:

Fixed Mindset                                                                      

  • “You’re a natural! I love that!”
  • “Well, at least you tried!”
  • “Great job! You’re so talented!”
  • “This is hard. Don’t feel bad if you can’t do it yet.”
  • “Maybe this isn’t your strength.
  • Don’t worry, you have other things to contribute.”

Growth Mindset 

  •  “You’re learning! I love that!”
  • “That didn’t work. Lets figure out a better way.”
  • “Great job! What’s one thing you think you can improve?”
  • “This is hard. Don’t feel bad if you can’t can’t do it.”
  • “We have high standards. I’m holding you to that because I know we can reach them together.”

I now realize I am going to have to do a part two on grit! So much more to add from the book for next week. The goal is to help our students, in a supportive way, learn to have grit. This is just a primer to get you thinking. Next week we will explore some additional thoughts and quotes from Grit!


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