Imagine if there was one magical phrase, that when repeated at different times throughout the day, could improve the odds that your child would be successful at everything.

Researchers have long known that ‘self-talk’ can have powerful results.

But new research suggests it must be specific phrases rooted in a growth mindset and not just any affirming words.

The Society For Research In Child Development discovered that when children recite this one phrase (6 words) quietly to themselves, they did better at specific tests than those who didn’t. The children who scored low on confidence before taking the test had the most significant improvement.

Although this study wasn’t done in sports, rather math, the power in ‘self-talk’ and growth mindset is heralded with today’s sports experts.

Magic Words To Boost Your Athletes Performance

The magic words that resulted in kids boosting their performance, according to the study, were simple.

“I will do my very best!”
‘I am very good at this!’

The results further confirm Stanford professor Carol Dweck’s famous research on ‘growth mindset’ vs. ‘fixed’ mindset in a child.

Praise effort and development and not innate qualities. And new Dweck research states that it’s mostly about how a parent reacts to a child’s failures that result in growth or a fixed mindset. If parents react negatively if they rush in, are anxious, and reassure them, “Oh, not everyone can be great at scoring, don’t worry, you’re good at other things,” the child takes in the information that this is a fixed problem. It is who they are. But if the parent reacts to a child’s failure as though it’s something that enhances learning, asking, “Okay, what is this teaching us? Where should we go next? Should we talk to the coach about how to improve in this area?

Then the child comes to understand that abilities can be developed. We can still learn from our mistakes.

This doesn’t mean your child will become a super-athlete because they repeat “I will do my very best” throughout the day. But it does mean there are measurable changes in results when a child uses growth mindset affirmations.

Does Your Child Have A Growth Or Fixed Mindset?


  • Do they believe achievement, intelligence, and problem-solving can be fluid and developed over time?
  • Are they OK making mistakes and view mistakes as a learning experience?
  • Do they view ‘effort’ as the key to learning and ability?


  • Does your athlete often complain of being bored in school?
  • Do they care too much about ‘looking smart’, so much so that they avoid tasks that are hard so they won’t look bad?
  • Do they view mistakes as failures?
  • Do they believe you either have talent and smarts or you don’t? With no gray area?

Original article published on

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