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Coaching with Creativity

"The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention"

As a university coach, you can encourage your students to push themselves outside of their comfort zones and strive for goals that are both challenging and rewarding. By helping them identify and pursue activities that allow them to stretch their limits, you can support them in reaching their full potential and experiencing the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes with doing something difficult and worthwhile.

Whether it's in athletics, academics, or other areas of their lives, a little bit of challenge and effort can go a long way towards helping your students develop resilience, perseverance, and a growth mindset.

Here are three key ideas from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention" that are particularly relevant to a university coach:

Creativity is a process that can be developed: Csikszentmihalyi argues that creativity is not simply an inborn talent, but rather a process that can be developed over time. This is important for university coaches to keep in mind, as it means that they can help their students develop their creative skills and mindset through deliberate practice, experimentation, and exposure to diverse perspectives.

Creative individuals have a high tolerance for ambiguity and risk: Csikszentmihalyi notes that creative individuals are often comfortable with uncertainty, and are willing to take risks and embrace failure in order to pursue their goals. This is particularly relevant to university coaches, who can help their students develop a growth mindset and a willingness to take calculated risks in their academic, extracurricular, and personal lives.

Flow is a key component of the creative process: Csikszentmihalyi's concept of "flow" describes a state of intense focus and engagement that individuals experience when they are fully immersed in a task that challenges them. University coaches can help their students experience flow by encouraging them to pursue activities that are both challenging and enjoyable, and by providing them with the resources and support they need to achieve their goals.

"How can I create a coaching environment that fosters creativity, experimentation, and diverse perspectives among my students?"

With Arete,


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