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Self-Talk is the running commentary that goes on in our heads. It can affect the way we think and feel about ourselves, which affects our performance.

If you are having problems getting your students to overcome self-talk this is for you.

It is important to cultivate a growth mindset when modifying Self-Talk

Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Dancers need a variety of strategies that can sustain their motivation in the face of setbacks and pressures that can be associated with making progress, performing and attaining goals.

Dweck (2016; 2017) tells us that greater motivation and achievement can be reached when we adopt a growth mindset, rather than a fixed mindset. A growth mindset allows people to be confident in their ability to improve so that they take deliberate steps to achieve their goals. People possess a mixture of fixed and growth mindsets and therefore need help when a fixed mindset is dominant in a thought process (Dweck, 2017).

In a ballet class, the strategies that teach psychological skills can provide the collaboration necessary to help students maintain a growth mindset.

A learning environment in which a growth mindset is fostered, supports the view that failures are opportunities to learn, rather than the result of permanent flaws. Teachers and coaches who adopt the approach that every person can develop their skills, create a culture in which participants take the necessary risks to improve and overcome setbacks and hardships.

Dweck (2017) warns that students who are labelled as talented can be afraid to take the next step in their development for fear of losing their status, along with the accolades that they might have previously received. Dweck's research shows that the progress of female students is at particular risk in this situation.

For more information about how to support ballet students to overcome self-talk get the PROPS Workbook and Resource.


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