Excerpt from an article by Shira Atkins published on SONIMA
Today too, we hear stories of companies hiring for inexperience over experience: Managers feel that an unshaped mind, hungry for learning and growth may be more valuable than an employee already set in their ways, already experts in their field. According to Caroline Silby, who was a member of the National Figure Skating Team, and renowned sports psychologist, these tendencies are true for coaches and athletes as well. “In athletics, being able to open your mind and see situations in a different way becomes one of the skills that we try to teach people.” Silby believes that not being open to beginner’s mind is a missed opportunity for athletes. “It’s not about facts, but about what experience they bring to the facts, so if a coach says, ‘I want you to try it this way’ an athlete can’t shut down. They need to be able to see their game from multiple perspectives.”
Silby acknowledges that it’s not an easy process, particularly since athletes are creatures of habit who “constantly feel the need to take control.” But, says Silby, “It’s good to shift the mindset. Players need to be relentless and focus on solutions. To do that well, you have to be in beginner’s mind.” And for this type of problem solving to be as effective as possible, a focus on the vastness of possibility is paramount.