Nick Saban on the Growth Mindset

As a graduate of both the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama, I like to joke that Saturdays in the fall are a roller coaster ride for me–usually down with the Wahoos and way up with the Crimson Tide. (But who am I kidding? It’s no joke.)

Given the success he’s had over the last few years, Alabama coach Nick Saban has become something close to a deity in the eyes of the Tide faithful, second only to Bear Bryant in the pantheon. Although I consider myself an agnostic when it comes to the divinity of football coaches, I was pleased to see the following quotation from Saban in the New York Times.

“The way you learn is to make mistakes,” Saban said of his defense, which leads the nation in points allowed per game (9.1). “So if you can make a mistake, and learn from it, you’re progressing. If you make a mistake, and you’re frustrated about it, you’re not progressing.”

I don’t know if he’s read Carol Dweck’s work on the growth mindset, but he clearly understands the principle. No wonder the man wins year after year.

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