“What skill-building really is, is confidence-building. First they got to earn it, then they got it. And once it gets lit, it stays lit pretty good.”

Chapter 6 Takeaways

  • Talent Hotbeds
  • Motivating as a Minimalist

Couple additions to the ignition concept regarding environment and motivation. As a reminder, ignition is the essence of why anyone does anything for a sustainable period of time. What is their motivation?

A talent hotbed is an environment that seems to consistently produce highly skilled athletes (or any other activity). Sayings like, “must be in the water” or “they just do things differently there,” come to mind when neighboring towns seem to always have the taller, stronger, or quicker athletes than from home. The Curaçao Experiment was a similar concept comparing the island of Aruba to Curaçao with regards to youth baseball. Both islands are relatively equal in population, culture, and participation; yet, Curaçao has had 12 appearances to the Little League World Series (LLWS) since 2001 and producing the most professionals within the same time span.

“These are not gauzy dreams or glossy postes; they are tangibles steps on a primal ladder of selection.”

The key difference between the two stems from suggestive cues continually motivating impressionable youth baseball players that the dream is possible. There are former pros living down the street from the baseball field. Or former players from previous LLWS teams still wearing badges from their appearances in Williamsport. It isn’t huge banners or billboards bombarding these kids, but subtleties surrounding them the possibilities.

“There’s no instant gratification, man. Everything boils back down to training; doing it over and over. So I never said much.”

The motivation for those kids in Curaçao seems to come in the form of their surroundings.

“High motivation is not the kind of language that ignites people. What works is precisely the opposite: not reaching up but reaching down, speaking to the ground-level effort, affirming the struggle.”

Another study discussed this chapter was an experiment with children receiving praise for their intelligence versus effort after completing specific tests.

“You must be smart at this. You must have worked really hard.”

The difference between the aforementioned 6 words. What was found, children receiving praise for their intelligence were more likely to become frustrated if challenged beyond aptitude. Contrastly, the children that were praised for their efforts were more likely to appreciate the harder tests ultimately improving their overall scores. The results versus process focus. It is a circular way of conceptualizing entitlement. Before, the student was deemed smart for completing a task. Incompletion gives the appearance of failure. The other students were considered hard-workers regardless of the result, so it gave them the satisfaction that an increase in challenge still felt like an improvement.

Coaching Application

How are we building an environment suggesting possibilities are attainable?

From a motivational standpoint, are we more results-oriented or process-oriented? 

 

 

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