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Growth mindset and shooting


Esther
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I read in Carol Dweck's work that when kids read stories about geniuses who were "born" that way, they give up faster when they encounter a hard problem. They think, "I must not be talented, so I might as well give up."

In contrast, reading about people who were not "naturals" but did great things anyway through effort and persistence inspires kids to try their hardest and not give up. They learn to value effort and perseverance over raw talent, and as they try their hardest and smartest over time, their hard work starts to look a lot like talent.

I think this forum is so cool because you see examples left and right of people who weren't "naturals," but through intelligent effort and determination became/are becoming amazing shooters. Brian comes to mind, but there are many others.

It gives me hope that even though my slow and smooth mag changes take 3 seconds (i.e., I currently suck :) ), that's just a point on my position function and I can get really good over time if I try.

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Nice!

In my opinion there is no such thing as "natural talent" for sports that involve hand-eye coordination. There are certainly genetic factors for athleticism but not a lot of sports these days rely on that too heavily. For most sports, there is work ethic and intelligence... nothing more.

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Have you read Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell? Great book on how to reach perfection. One of his theories is 10,000 hours of practice. That's 40 hour weeks for 5 years or something close. Discounts the "natural talent" myth on a lot of levels. It does talk about opportunities and timing, which likely lead to the perception of "natural talent."

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Esther,

I have never seen a natural behind a gun... I have seen people who (over) think that it's supposed to be really hard.

Closest thing I have ever seen to a "natural" is Brad Balsley, who just never believed it was supposed to be hard.

Be careful of your self image during development...these ideas can stick around for a long time and do much damage.

SA

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Donovan - Nice to see you again. :) I haven't played enough sports that require hand-eye coordination to know, but my guess is that like in most activities, talent matters, but effort and determination alone will get you surprisingly far.

DHTampa - I haven't read Gladwell's book, but I've read a lot of Ericsson's research on expertise, which (from what I understand) a lot of Gladwell's content is based on, including the oft-cited figure of 10,000 hours. My senior thesis was on whether and to what extent Ericsson's theory of deliberate practice can be applied to less defined fields. (Much of the research on focused, attentive, sustained practice leading to dramatic results is based on studies of fields in which success and improvement are fairly well-defined - for example, chess, sports, musical playing (as opposed to composition), etc.). I was curious how the model would translate to more creative, amorphous fields such as art.

Since then, there's been a ton of literature on developing creativity (e.g., Ted Pink), which I haven't followed as closely.

Steve - Good point re: things being easier when you don't know they're "supposed" to be hard. And thanks for reminding me to be careful of my self-image during development - I don't think it hurts for me to think, "I currently suck," because it's obviously true and just a starting position. But I catch myself thinking all the time, "I am a [fairly] accurate but super slow shooter," and that is much worse.

a matt - Nice!

Edited by Esther
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Esther,

These are some things I consider to keep the critical thinking sharp...

One thing that is usually removed from behavioral research is passion.

Another thing that is removed from research is the outliers.

Guess where on the bell curve do passionate people dwell? Are you having fun and do you want to continue?

Even among the 3 sigma population, high level of mastery, there is also population averaging which I think dilutes the true factors of success. The amount of effort and dedication during those 10,000 hours is often overlooked. Mental visualization is just starting to be recognized as essential to elite performance and mastery. So, these "born geniuses" are born motivated and develop their talents into skills.

A good reference for the applied sports psychology are the Lanny Basham books. They're on kindle so time is not a factor getting the information.

3 second reload? Why are you so fast? Yes, of course you can be faster. We're all fast and working on getting faster.

Be safe, have fun,

DNH

Edited by daves_not_here
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I have enjoyed the research on resilience that Dweck has done as well. An interesting phenomenon related to her work is the difference in some vets that are coming home after multiple deployments. Some are having a real hard time adjusting and have debilitating PTSD and other serious psychological problems related to their service. Then there are others that come home and are actually in better psychological shape than before they deployed. The research now is trying to figure out why some individuals get stronger while others breakdown while experiencing the same conditions and difficult situations of the war. If they can get a handle on how to develop this resilience in others prior to sending them into combat, the amount of suffering that can be eliminated will be huge.

That will also transfer to less extreme and important issues that we all experience during our lives. If we are able to go into a stressful situation and benefit so that we are better able to respond to the next stressful situation, psychology will have done the world a real service.

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Steve - Good point re: things being easier when you don't know they're "supposed" to be hard. And thanks for reminding me to be careful of my self-image during development - I don't think it hurts for me to think, "I currently suck," because it's obviously true and just a starting position. But I catch myself thinking all the time, "I am a [fairly] accurate but super slow shooter," and that is much worse.

E-

I didn't get that impression during that one range session. You were safe (most important) and you were very accurate.

Realising that it's a start (and everyone starts somewhere) is the important part of that thinking though a little self deprecation is healthy as long as it doesn't skew your overall mental attitude. You've done this (whatever the "this" skill is), you know you can do this (at your current ability) and you can do this better with dedication and practice.

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Looking back on my shooting life, I definitely was not a "natural," at shooting.

But my strong points were and are, I never stop experimenting with techniques or mental methods - the goal being to never stop

improving.

And, if I know you, and you can do something that I am interested in better than I can - I will figure out a way to beat you.

;)

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People that have never worked really hard to achieve a goal often confuse the result they see in others as inate talent, luck, or magic, when what they are really seeing is the result of a bucket load of time and effort that was put in out of view. Perserverence and good practice methods are how magic happens.

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Esther,

I have never seen a natural behind a gun... I have seen people who (over) think that it's supposed to be really hard.

Closest thing I have ever seen to a "natural" is Brad Balsley, who just never believed it was supposed to be hard.

Be careful of your self image during development...these ideas can stick around for a long time and do much damage.

SA

This, When I was younger I had the advantage that I never knew that shooting was supposed to be difficult. As I grew older I started to understand the competition side fo the sport and started to shoot against others.

Kids are naturals as long as their parents keep difficulty of shooting fast at bay, children pick up the hand 2 eye relationship faster than anyone else because they are in that stage of learning, they will not be as fast as the best professionals due to the physical limitations.

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  • 5 months later...

And, if I know you, and you can do something that I am interested in better than I can - I will figure out a way to beat you.

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/#EMO_DIR#/wink.png

Right there.

Me thinks this particular wiring pattern in a person leads to performance.

When I am around someone who is hi speed low drag, and we are doing cool stuff, I really want to smoke them at it. Eventually I do.

So choose carefully who you hang with, they end up setting the bar for you.

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