Will we bring it home?

11 Jul 2018
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Mindset plays a crucial role in winning

90 Year 6 children in a room, 1 talk to give on mindset and moving on to secondary school, and dodgy technology to contend with! Great way to start a Wednesday – thank goodness it’s a little cooler today, it certainly got warm in the room.

I love giving this talk, the children and teachers have given their all to SATs, they’re coasting through the last few weeks of school to the summer holidays – but this is a period like no other. It’s the last few days of walking along the path and through the school gates, being greeted by the school head or deputy head and making their way to their classroom.
Whether they are in a primary school (from 4 years old through to 11 years old) or have been through an Infant and Junior school set up, they will have predominantly been with the same group of children, and some rural schools may only have 9 or 10 pupils in a year drawn from the local villages. They are big fish in a small pond.
But now it’s time to move on to ‘big school’ (as one of the boys said this morning) – both physically (many of them will be 1000+ pupils), and emotionally as they grow from 11 year olds into young adults, some staying on past GCSEs to finish their A levels in the same school.
As a parent of a Year 6 pupil, I am also feeling this keenly – up until now school as been all about being children but the next stage is going to shape them into early adulthood. They will arrive as 11 year olds but leave as 16 or 18 year olds which is a wholly different proposition!
In this particular talk I grab their attention with video footage of a Tiger shark dive I did some years ago off South Africa, and use it as a thread to relate to parts of my talk (my 11 year old daughter thinks I’m so not cool). Talking to children needs plenty of interaction and movement to keep them engaged for 45 minutes, and given they are only days away from breaking up for the summer they are even more unsettled than usual.
I love getting them involved and they can’t wait to dish the dirt on their parents when we discuss learned repetitive behaviour, like road rage or shouting in the morning to get out of the house in time for school!
We also touched on the field of elite sports and how important mindset is in winning. The top athletes will have a raft of people behind them to get them into that top position: coaches, medics, physiotherapists, nutritionists, even sleep coaches – and also psychologists to help them cope with performance anxiety, motivation and develop a winning mentality.
And I couldn’t not include something about the English football squad! Dr. Pippa Grange, who has a doctorate in applied psychology, was appointed by the FA to change the culture and mindset of England’s team, and increase their ‘psychological resilience’. She is being credited with the calmer and more united camp which is having positive results as the team wins through their rounds.
Back to the sharks, I explain you wouldn’t jump into a Tiger shark dive without preparation, without following the directions you’re given, having an understanding of the environment you’re entering and a respect for the animals you’re seeing. It’s something you build up to, much like many stages in life – these Y6’s can’t yet imagine some of the situations they might find themselves in, or the exams they will be facing, or the choices they will make but with guidance, learning, experience, a bit of trial and error, connecting with others, they will be ready to jump into their own shark waters when the time comes, whatever form it takes – and enjoy it!
And finally, the connections they make are so important. They are moving down the path towards adulthood, a time when their characters develop, their interests expand, they might start to look ahead to their future careers, so finding connection with others around them is crucial, whether it’s on the sports field, in the dance studio, the art department, bonding over a love of language or science, going to the cinema or at the games console, caring for animals or the environment.
Inevitably the Q&A session is mainly about the sharks or scuba diving and only 1 question about mindset but that’s fine, and the last one: Will England bring it home? Of course!
It’s the first time I’ve had a cheer and whoop at the end of one of my talks – and my daughter still thinks I’m not cool!
If you or your child is struggling with stress, whether it’s dealing with exam anxiety or results worries, it could be moving schools or on to university, an interview, moving house, or just day-to-day existing… book a discovery call or contact me on:
tel. 01798 344879
Email: info@mind-yourbusiness.co.uk
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