Growth Mindset

 What is Growth Mindset?

The Growth Mindset TAP scale measures how much one believes their abilities can be improved through effort.  Growth Mindset affects how high an athlete's ceiling can be with ongoing instruction and coaching.   Growth Mindset also relates to an athlete's versatility from a mental standpoint.

 Why is it important?

Having a Growth Mindset is essential to reaching one’s full potential in athletics, academics and life. Those that lack one often plateau early and underachieve. Research backs this.  In practice, the Growth Mindset, or lack thereof, is tied to tendencies such as going all out when doing a drill even if it means a mistake compared to practicing the same thing over and over again or going at half speed just to avoid making a mistake.

For the coach, knowing the intensity of the Growth Mindset can help with instruction. Someone who lacks a Growth Mindset might need to be sold or convinced that something is important before instruction begins compared to the person with a Growth Mindset who is ready to try without any convincing beforehand.

 A higher score means...

Those with a high Growth Mindset believe strongly that their efforts and hard work will pay off with improvement to their abilities and success. These individuals consistently take action to improve in sports and life such as being willing to experiment with new techniques that seem unfamiliar and may result in failure early on as the person learns to master a new skill.  A higher Growth Mindset also means the athlete is comfortable trying many techniques and different positions.

 Higher scoring athletes think and act...

● Believes they can do things to improve in areas others feel are innate/natural born talent, like being faster.

● More apt to see how details fit into the larger scheme

● Does not need a long explanation for why something needs to be done differently.  Will jump right in.

● Not worried about failing when trying to learn something new

● Likes watching film of themself to learn how to improve


 A lower score means...

Those with lower levels of Growth Mindset will exhibit more of a “fixed mindset” and think people are born with a certain degree of physical and mental ability that is almost impossible to improve upon.  They also are better suited for single roles like being a specialist and will be less prone to perform tasks that would lead to improvement in their sport or life.  Importantly, this mindset can be changed. 

 Lower scoring athletes think and act...

● Believes that in life, success is more due to luck, fate and natural talent than due to effort and other actions under one’s control;  Thus believing that major change is not possible.

● Wants to practice something new at half-speed

● If allowed, will spend most of their time on skills they are already good at

● Sees a mistake as failure rather than seeing it as a learning opportunity

● Feels watching film of themself is a waste of time


How to improve Growth Mindset


These topical videos have been selected by Ryzer.  The video links will open a new browser window.  The linked videos are neither hosted nor created by Ryzer unless otherwise noted.

Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset 5 mins | by Sprouts

Michael Jordan "Failure" 1 min | classic Nike commercial 

Tom Brady: The Magic is in the Will of Trying 5 mins | by Video Advice

The Mindset of a Champion 7 mins | TED Talk by Carson Byblow - good for younger athletes

Neuroplasticity 2 mins | by Sentis

Why You Need to Fail 5 mins | TED talk by Derek Silvers

The Mindset 3 mins | by HESMotivation

The Power of Believing That You Can Improve 10 mins | TED talk by Carol Dweck

After Watching This, Your Brain Will Not be the Same 14 mins | TED talk by Dr. Lara Boyd




These articles have been selected by Ryzer.  The article links will open a new browser window.  The linked articles are neither hosted nor created by Ryzer unless otherwise noted.

Why the Growth Mindset is the Only way to Learn 5 pages | Edudemic Staff article, hosted by Ryzer

4 Ways to Improve Your Mental Game 2 pages | By Jeff Haefner, USA Basketball - good for young athletes

Fixed Mindset vs Growth Mindset: Your Success Hinges on It 3 pages | published by Careers in Psychology

Even Geniuses Work Hard 4 pages | by Carol S. Dweck

The Perils and Promises of Praise 5 pages | by Carol S. Dweck



These topical podcasts have been selected by Ryzer.  The podcast links will open a new browser window.  The linked podcasts are neither hosted nor created by Ryzer unless otherwise noted.

Carol Dweck - The Power of a Growth Mindset 50 mins | The Learning Leader Podcast with Ryan Hawk

Strengthening Your Grit Muscles 23 mins | Chasing Excellence podcast by Ben Bergeron

Go First! 8 mins | Mindset Matters podcast by Riley Jensen



Ryzer Mindset Drills are designed to be completed either individually or in a instructor-led group setting.  The worksheets supplement the presentations and ideally are printed in advance of reviewing the presentation. The worksheets and presentations are PDF documents.  For best experience, save the PDF to your device before viewing or open in a PDF-friendly application such as Books on iPhone or Adobe on Android.


Overcoming Mistakes

Learn to Manage and Overcome Mistakes

This drill's outcomes: (i) learn a new perspective on failure and mistakes (ii) learn a 3-step technique to quickly overcome mistakes (iii) improved performance in practice and games.

Overcoming Mistakes presentation - 38 slides

Overcoming Mistakes worksheet - 3 pages

7-Day Mistake Journal worksheet - 2 pages