Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World | Prospect Martial Arts
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Ralph Anderson reviewed Prospect Martial Arts
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Outstanding. So much talent and genuine care for teaching the art. Very happy with every aspect of Prospect Martial Arts.

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Mr. Levesque is by far one of the most patient, understanding, incredible and all around amazing instructor and person. He gets through to the kids so naturally. PMA is highly recommended and I still can’t get how far our son has come in just one short year. Thank you Eric and Kellee for sharing your love of Tang Soo with us!!

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Strong sense of family. great instructing, beautiful school. come train with us!

Sandra Miguez-Fernandes reviewed Prospect Martial Arts
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Master Levesque is a wonderful mentor! My son and daughter have learned so much and really enjoy going to class. Prospect Martial Arts is a family friendly place where you will meet wonderful, caring people. Master Levesque puts his heart and soul into every class. He genuinely cares about each individual student both inside the dojo and out.

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Awesome classes with awesome teachers! My kids and I love training with Mr. Levesque and everyone involved down there! PMA for life!

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PMA has become like a second family to us. Mr Levesque is a phenomenal instructor. His patience, dedication, and understanding to all of his students is amazing. The way he teaches is truly inspiring. My son has come such a long way since he started a year ago. I could never thank you all enough for all you have done for us. We love you Eric, Kellee, and everyone else in our PMA family

Elisa Rodrigues-Polonio reviewed Prospect Martial Arts
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Great place and atmosphere to bring your kids. Very accommodating and flexible. Awesome teachers!

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Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World

Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World
In today’s world competition is everywhere and it often starts at a very young age. It begins as a fun, skill-developing event but can quickly become time-consuming and competitive. While some parents want their children pushed to help them learn the hard lessons of life, others want to protect their children from the disappointment that can come with competition. Both sides have pros and cons, but a balanced approach is what will truly help a child develop a competitive nature in a healthy way.
Competition can be fun and exhilarating, especially if you are on the winning side. This drive to compete and win is very strong in our society in every age group and industry. When children are involved in competitive events, it can teach them goal setting techniques as well as how to deal with the frustrations that can come along with losing. Competition also helps children learn to take turns and support their teammates.
On the flip side, some parents are often concerned that competition will lead to more stress and anxiety in their children because the push to win is so strong. When loss comes along, it can develop lower self-esteem in children and can make them feel that they don’t have what it takes. Therefore, parents often feel that competition is more destructive to their child then beneficial.
While both views of competition are valid, it is important that we find a balance for children where they can develop a healthy competitive spirit while maintaining a strong self-image. While this can sound like a difficult balance, it is actually very easy to attain. The key is to work with children on developing a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck, first introduced this concept in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” Dweck stated that when people feel they have traits that cannot be changed, they have a fixed mindset and have a need to prove themselves continuously through competition. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve on their current abilities and add new skills through time and effort.
So how do we teach children this? One of the best ways is by creating an environment that develops both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a reward driven behavior. A child can earn a reward or trophy by exhibiting certain actions. Intrinsic motivation comes from a wanting achieve a goal and feeling satisfied with yourself for attaining it. Both of these are important in developing a healthy competitive mindset.
Martial arts is a great way for children to learn a balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They can earn new belt levels by exhibiting certain techniques with accuracy but since it is more of an individualized sport, they learn to set goals for themselves and feel proud for improving their skill set. The instructors in the Prospect Martial Arts program utilize both types of motivation as teaching skills for each class. That way students are motivated to earn external rewards such as stripes and belts but they also learn to feel internally proud for getting better than they were before.
As children develop it is important that we maximize their potential by helping them set different types of goals and learn important lessons along the way. While competing against others is a great way for children to evaluate their skills against another person, the ultimate goal should be to improve their personal skill level. Success isn’t always about winning. Helping children become better than they were before will help them become internally driven and create a growth mindset.