Stan Van Gundy on Having a Growth Mindset


Today I was listening to Zach Lowe’s The Lowe Post podcast with Pistons Coach/GM Stan Van Gundy (which was a must listen for anyone who loves the NBA) and they were discussing SVG’s mindset in relation to how often the feedback to his team should be positive or negative. SVG responded that he spoke with a psychologist and she said “that is asking the wrong question.” The question should be, “What do you praise and what do you talk against?”

He continued, “You don’t want to be praising natural ability (ex. “Wow, you are a great jumper or shooter”) because if you miss shots your confidence goes away. The mindset should be one that’s focused on growth. What you are praising is, “Hey, I like the way you are out here working on your shooting every day.” It’s a difference in your outlook in what you are talking about with your players in terms of what they can control. It’s not getting in a fixed mindset, if you don’t play well then you jump to the conclusion that you suck. Instead it becomes, I’m not playing well what do I need to do to correct it? How do I get better as I move on? What do I need to do to improve?”

This really resonated with me because mindset and self-improvement are such an important part of being successful in business and in life. We all have the ability to control how and what we think. None of us are perfect at it, but as long as you continue to have a growth mindset and strive to make today better than yesterday and do so in the right ways then you are putting yourself in a position for greatness.

Stan Van Gundy is a great source of inspiration to me because he is one of 30 head coaches in the NBA and of those he’s one of the best. He strives for greatness and it starts with his thinking.

I challenging you to have a growth mindset. What could you change in your everyday thinking that could have a positive impact in how you conduct yourself and grow as a person? How could you change the way you interact with others to help them become better? I’m going to accept this challenge myself and try to lead by example. Hit me up on Twitter @RobCressy and let me know how it goes.

I’ll leave you with this video of SVG showing off his sick handles.

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Mindfulness  //  sports


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