A few more sessions in and I can say with honesty that I am encouraged by my new approach this year.
I feel less resistance from players and feedback has been positive. Most players get the general principles of a growth mindset. Those who are more resistant enagage in interesting discussions with me as we navigate a way through. All positive signs.
Additionally, turnout and volume is increasing. We had a session with over 700 balls bowled this past week!
The most recent theme at the sessions was "Boundaries" and, as you can imagine, people bought into that with gusto. I had players choose their own interpretation of this, based on focusing on one thing in their learning edge, Most people worked on hitting harder in their best scoring areas. Some preferred to play a more cautious game of dot or boundary. Bowlers chatted to each other about tactics and lots of yorkers were bowled.
Only two people didn't buy in. One went on the bowling machine and spent 40 minutes playing straight and mostly defensively. Another was a young lad who got frustrated with the way he was playing and gave up saying "I'm just rubbish now, I used to be good." Classic fixed mindsets from both. However, these are exceptions rather than rules.
I think the biggest surprise for players in this shift is the realisation that they can improve. Several guys have said something like "I'm too set in my ways to change", but then gone about a session with a specific goal to improve something about their game. Most people, rather than resist a growth mindset, have embraced the idea that they have more in them. Even if the more is just being the best version of you that you can be.
As a result of a strong focus on mindset, I have only done one team net based game so far. That one went well, but I am conscious of not letting a score encourage a fixed mindset. While tracking is important, I have quietly let PitchVision do that while players often focus on experimenting with different things in nets to find out what works.
When someone is experimenting, I throw away the PitchVision data. When someone is specifically trying to improve their strengths, I use the data to help.
In the coming weeks, I will look again at the odd game where scores are kept, reminding people that the score isn't the important part, but it's good to check in with your progress in a quantified way from time to time.
I am also about to send out a update on bowling accuracy and pace to see the responses.
Otherwise, it's back to a couple more weeks of mindset-focused nets before a full month of fielding practice in March.