How to access Grit and Growth Mindset

We like this quote by Daniel Coyle:

We have learned a lot about growth mindset through Dr. Carol Dweck’s work. GRIT was the name of wonderful article by Bob Carney in Golf Digest October 2014 issue.

The question is: What are things that we can do and encourage in coaching to enhance grit and growth mindset? For us it needs to land in action and application.

Grit and growth mindset are very related. If you operate from a growth mindset you will keep increasing your grit factor. You can’t have great grit without a growth mindset.

To access more GRIT for golfers:
Learn and apply the two VISION54 emotional skills: Emotional Resilience and Storage of Memory.

Learn to manage and create productive Self Talk.

Focus on and evaluate what you do in the process of playing…much more than the outcome. We want golfers to focus on things under their control. We call it to have a Playing Focus, a game within the game.

Golfers to be very clear and congruent about their intrinsic motivation for golf…not only setting outcome and extrinsic goals. What is it the player LOVES about playing golf and the game that goes beyond scoring and outcome. Grit has more sustainable energy when its rooted in a clear purpose and your big WHY AM I DOING THIS…is clear.

Make sure your practice sessions include cross training of ALL the skills required to play well. Set really clear practice intentions AND stay disciplined to completing your intentions.


To access more of a Growth Mindset:

All of the above applies to a growth mindset as well. Some added things would be:

We believe the coaching should always move towards the golfer being able to coach and manage themselves ON the course. Set up coaching and practices to enhance self awareness, self referencing and self regulation. Coaches should ask lots of opened ended questions and create exercises that allow the player to self evaluate their process or intention.

Golfers need  to understand what they do physically, mentally and emotionally when they play great and when they get in their own way. They need to become intimate with both spectrums. From that self awareness the player is more equipped to deal with adversity and will know more what to do to shift when challenges arise. We call this skill Master of Variability knowing your  MY54 and NOT54.

Feedback should be sorted and specific, and not based on assumptions, interpretations and judgment. Feedback should focus on effort. This kind of feedback separates who they are from what they do. It feeds grit and doesn’t shatter self esteem.

Read George Leonard’s book Mastery and look at his Mastery curve. Players must understand that progress and improvement is not a straight line….Mastery or excellence has always  had ups and downs and plateaus and…it always will.


Here are a few useful growth mindset questions for coaches and parents or anyone on a players support team:

How are you better today?

What did you learn about yourself today?

What did you learn about your performance today?

What will you do different tomorrow?

Tell me about your greatest “failure” today and how you deal with it– meaning opportunity to growth

What is one skill you have yet to learn? “Yet” is a great word to use!