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The Mindset of a Champion | Stanford – Home of Champions

Stashed in: Moneyball, #winning, Stanford, Michael Jordan

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There are things that distinguish great athletesâchampionsâfrom others. Most of the sports world thinks itâs their talent, but I will argue that itâs their mindset. This idea is brought to life by the story of Billy Beane, told so well by Michael Lewis in the book Moneyball (Lewis, 2003). When Beane was in high school, he was in fact a huge talentâwhat they call a ânatural.â He was the star of the basketball team, the football team, and the baseball teamâand he was all of these things without much effort. People thought he was the new Babe Ruth.

However, as soon as anything went wrong, Beane lost it. He didnât know how to learn from his mistakes, nor did he know how to practice to improve. Why? Because naturals shouldnât make mistakes or need practice. When Beane moved up to baseballâs major leagues, things got progressively worse. Every at-bat was a do-or-die situation and with every out he fell apart yet again.à If youâre a natural, you believe that you shouldnât have deficiencies, so you canât face them and coach or practice them away.

Beaneâs contempt for learning and his inability to function in the face of setbacksâwhere did this come from? With avid practice and the right coaching he could have been one of the greats. Why didnât he seek that? I will show how his behavior comes right out of his mindset.

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