It’s a year where many teachers say their biggest challenge is student behavior, even more than learning gaps. Use these coaching strategies to improve academic behaviors by leveraging students’ mindset for sports, music, or other passion. Fortunately, a successful mindset absolutely can be a transferable skill. However, students might need help to see the connection between their on court instincts and the classroom.

Set Achievable and Stretch Goals: Most gymnasts aren’t aiming for a perfect 10 nor hitters for a grand slam. Yet many students strive for the equivalent in school – and give up if they feel it’s not attainable. Help students develop a realistic view of success and manage expectations how long it could take. Set student goals based on current mastery level with enough“stretch”. This approach will boost students’ self-confidence and keep expectations high.

Lots of Practice:  Athletes expect to practice, practice and practice again. They don’t expect immediate success. And yet students don’t expect to need the same patience toward academics when they should. Didn’t understand it in class? Review your notes, try more problems, or watch a video. Develop confidence that with practice the skill will come. And yes, expect some skills will require more practice than others.

Good Preparation: Every athlete knows the importance of a healthy mind, body, and spirit. A balanced diet, regular sleep schedule, and a positive mindset are as important for learning as they are in sports. And just as students prepare for a big game with tough practices and a lighter practice before game day, teach them to adopt a similar approach for big assessments. Study regularly through the week with a light review the night before. Go to bed early before a big test to be in the best mental shape possible.

Ask for Help: Athletes know a great coach makes all the difference. Coaches give effective feedback, provide encouragement, and are there to give you help when you need it most. The same is true for great teachers. Building a relationship so students are comfortable asking for help might be the most important skill you develop this year.

Wishing you a winning school year!

Try more MindPrint strategies to BOOST Your Students to success

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