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Transcript of Chapter 4
The Mindset of a Champion
"A Natural" - someone who looks, moves, and performs like an athlete without trying.
The idea of a natural is a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset athlete does not focus on practicing to get better. Effort is viewed as a weakness.
Let's look at some examples of fixed mindset athletes, who are often described as "naturals."
Billy Beane was a natural, but lacked the mindset of a champion. He did not know how to fail, and how to use a failure as an opportunity for growth. Later in life, Beane did find success, not as a baseball player, but as a major-league executive. His focus on natural talent shifted to mindset.
Instead of digging deep to find inner strength when the odds were not in his favor, Pedro Martinez decided to throw a tantrum when his team fell behind in a World Series. He showed a complete lack of character by hitting a batter, threatening another, and hurling the opposing team's coach to the ground. Martinez was a very talented baseball player, but lacked the mental ability to learn from a fault and turn a setback into an opportunity for success.
Sonny Liston was considered a natural. He was a sized, strong, and experienced boxer. It was to great surprise when he was beaten by the mental brilliance of Muhammad Ali. Ali is an example of an athlete with a growth mindset.
Muhammad Ali failed all physical measurements to be considered a great fighter. He was not labeled as a natural. In addition, his technical game was all wrong.
Ali used his mind as his biggest advantage. He spent countless hours studying his opponents' each and every move, in and out of the ring. His mental toughness and readiness was unmatched, and therefore he found success against the most unlikely opponents.
Michael Jordan was not a natural. As a high school athlete, he was cut from the basketball team. He was not recruited by the college he wanted to play for. Jordan took these setbacks and used them to spring forward, so far forward, that he became the greatest basketball player ever.
"The mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have. I've always said that and I've always believed that."
- Michael Jordan.
In her early years, Jackie Joyner-Kersee knew quite well what it felt like to finish last. She continued to work hard, but still did not win many races.
Her determination and dedication resulted her being one of the greatest female athletes of all time .
According to Kersee, "There is something about seeing myself improve that motivates and excites me. Some might attribute my transformation to the laws of heredity...But I think it was my reward for all those hours of work on the bridle path, the neighborhood sidewalks and the schoolhouse corridors."
Concluding Thoughts About Growth Mindset And Being A Champion:
Success is found in learning and improving, not just winning.
Setbacks are motivating.
Being a champion is always a work in progress.