Allistair McCaw on Growth Mindset and Your Child’s Sports Environment - Soccer Parenting
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Allistair McCaw on Growth Mindset and Your Child’s Sports Environment

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Allistair McCaw a world-renowned Sports Performance Consultant, Mindset Coach and Team Culture Builder for  Allistair is the author of the book Champion Minded: An Athlete’s Guide to Achieving Excellence in Sports and Life. The book is full of quick reads for aspiring athletes related to mindset, personal standards, values and much more.

Allistair and I did a deep dive into Growth Mindset – defining the pioneering research of Dr. Carol Dweck from Stanford University and her book Mindset and he explained, in detail, what he calls the 6 Elements of Growth Mindset: Beliefs, Motivation, Effort, Challenges, Feedback, and Personality Type. We talked about how parents can help their child develop their Growth Mindset, the importance of our children defining their athletic (and life!) values, having standards and much more.  While the complete interview is available at the, below is a clip from our discussion related to how parents can help their child develop a growth mindset:


What are you rewarding your child on? Is it the wins, the losses, the results, or is the effort, the work ethic, the attitude, the commitment, because those are the things that are going to get you further in life when we talk about life skills. We see these kids that have very high high’s, and very low low’s, and that’s a very tricky and dangerous place to go into, because they feel that their worth is on the results they get. I’m a good person if I do well. I’m a bad person if I don’t do well. That has an effect in the rest of your life as well, in how you see relationships, in how you do in school. You know I do well, I’m a good person, I do bad, I’m a bad person.

And again, we talk about, and I’m so happy you brought that up at the start is sport teaches us so much about life. If you want your child to develop into a great adult then it does really start with adopting that growth mindset. Rewarding them for the things, the process that gets to the result.

What do I need to get to that result? A good attitude. A great effort. A good work ethic. Good commitment. Time management. All these controlables which are so important. Accountability. Responsibility. Self-discipline. Awareness. Teamwork. So many important things.

I also asked Allistair for some advice for parents when it comes to choosing the athletic environment in which their children will compete.  This is what he had to say:


Skye: … advice that you have for parents when they’re making decisions about the environment in which their children will practice or compete or play, in terms of what club or coach they’ll be involved with.

Allistair: It’s important to find a club, academy, team, whatever you’re looking for that aligns with your values and your principles. If that is a culture of positivity, a culture of a learning environment, a culture of developing life skills, then you need to seek out that type of club and what really matters. Ask good questions to the coaches before you sign up. What matters to you in this club? What matters to you in working with my child? Those are important questions to ask before you … Here’s the thing, the best club, or should I say the right club, is not always the best club.

Sometimes our ego as parents can take over where we’re saying, where’s the best club in our vicinity here? Who’s getting the results? Where are the best kids? That is not necessarily the right club for your child or aligns with your values and principles. So, those are very important things for parents to consider. Get to know the coaches. Get to know their characters because you’re going to leaving your child with them and under their supervision, and you want to make sure that they’re hearing the right things.

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About the Author Skye Eddy

Founder, Skye is a former All-American goalkeeper, professional player and collegiate coach. She holds her USSF “B” License and USSF National Goalkeeper License and is an active youth coach, soccer parent and coach educator.

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