Dr. Carol Dweck's book 'Mindset' definitely worth a read for any parent, coach or teacher. Much of our coaching behaviour at Everyball Tennis is shaped around what she describes as the 'fixed' and 'growth' mindset, using the language of effort over the language of high praise, careful in our use of 'labels'.
'The wrong kind of praise lead kids down the path of entitlement, dependence, and fragility, the right kind of praise can lead them down the path of hard work and greater hardiness.' Hard work and greater hardiness - yep, we'll take that!
'The wrong kind of praise as youngsters, lead to an overpraised generation in the workplace. 'We now have a workforce full of people who need constant reassurance and can't take criticism. Not a recipe for success in business, where taking on challenges, showing persistence, and admitting and correcting mistakes are essential.'
A letter to Dr. Dweck from Seth Adams:
'Dear Dr. Dweck,
It was painful to read your chapter....as I recognised myself therin.
As a child I was a member of The Gifted Child Society and continually praised for my intelligence (talent, beauty or whatever). Now, after a lifetime of not living up to my potential (I'm 49) I'm learning to apply myself to a task. And also to see failure not as a sign of stupidity but as lack of experience and skill. Your chapter helped see myself in a new light.'