At Swim Tank we are personally vested in the progress of each and every one of our students.  We strongly believe in promoting a growth mindset in both our students and in our staff.  We have done extensive research on this subject and have shared several articles below that support this philosophy.  In order to support a growth mindset, in our students, it is important that we challenge them individually and praise the effort that they put into their lessons.  Developing a growth mindset starts at a very young age and as parents and coaches we can help to set the example.

Since it’s inception, our teaching philosophy has been that children can learn anything given the right support, environment and time.  We have always supported the notion of “you haven’t learned it yet but if you keep at it, you WILL learn it”.  We have never believed in the “everyone wins” attitude and designed our entire swim program around a system of challenging but achievable milestones.  This system, if approached positively, will foster and develop a “growth mindset” and “grit” in your child.

Swim Tank has a uniquely designed achievement level system, which allows children to set goals, face challenges, work hard and persevere!  Our staff is here to support your child along the way.  Our student’s efforts will always be praised and we will continually reinforce the concept of “Not Yet”.  When student reach their goals the sense of pride and accomplishment that they feel will boost their confidence and create a love of learning.  If we teach our students to be able to take on challenges and learn from these challenges, instead of being defeated by them, we can develop their growth mindset and grit.

What is Mindset?

“Mindset is a simple idea discovered by world-renown Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck in decades of research on achievement and success – a simple idea that makes all the difference.

In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simple fixed traits.  They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.  They also believe that talent alone creates success – without effort.  They’re wrong.

In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point.  This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.  Virtually all great people have had these qualities.

Teaching a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity in the world of business, education and sports.  It enhances relationships.  When you read Mindset, you’ll see how.”

- Mindset, "What is Mindset"

The Power of Yet

“Research on the power of yet – while still in progress – holds promise, says Romero.  In a recent TED talk, Dr. Carol Dweck, the Stanford professor who pioneered research in growth mindset, describes how emphasizing the word “yet” helps children see themselves on a learning curve: “Just the words ‘yet’ or ‘not yet’ we’re finding, give kids greater confidence, gives them a path into the future that creates greater persistence.”  Last fall, Sesame Street picked up on this theme, learning with Janelle Monae to produce the song “The Power of Yet.”

 - Deborah Farmer Kris, "Preschoolers and Praise: What Kinds of Messages Help Kids Grow?"

So, What is Grit and Why Does It Matter?

When we are in pursuit of a lofty goal, we don’t know when or even whether we will succeed.  Until we do.

Grit is a distinct combination of passion, resilience, determination, and focus that allows a person to maintain the discipline and optimism to persevere in their goals even in the face of discomfort, rejection, and a lack of visible progress for years, or even decades.

Through extensive research, Angela Duckworth and her team have proven that the common denominator among spelling bee finalists, successful West Point cadets, salespeople and teachers who not only stick with, but improve in their performance is grit.  And according to study after study, people who are smart, talented, kind, curious, and come from stable, loving homes, generally don’t succeed if they don’t know how to work hard, remain committed to their goals, and persevere through struggles and failure.

- Jenny Williams, "What Is Grit, Why Kids Need It, and How You Can Foster It"

"Change your Mindset, Change the Game" Dr. Alia Crum at TED

"The Power of Yet" Carol s. Dweck at TEDx Talks

"The Key to success? Grit" Angela Lee Duckworth at TED