Growing Champions
Message from David 

Is Your Child a Gritty Learner

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Not all things are as they appear. For instance, sometimes we pour ourselves into things expecting certain results… only to discover that we were misinformed about where to put our energy. The pursuit of tall trophies is like that – an empty illusion.


Let’s look at Sarah and what she learned about the illusion of being a winner.  Sarah thought winners were people who had tall trophies, shiny medals, and blue ribbons. When she looked at the mantel at her house and saw she didn’t have any, she thought she must be a… well, she didn’t want to say the “L” word but she worried that it must be true. The harder she tried to win at anything – school, sports, or music – she always came up empty handed.  Then one day her dad suggested that perhaps she was looking in the wrong place and working the wrong way. “What do you mean?  I always try hard to win.” she said. Her dad replied, “Instead of looking at the mantel and always comparing yourself to others, try looking in the mirror and compare yourself only to you.” Then he gave her a new definition of winning that changed everything. “Winning is ending each day being a little better than you were that morning.” That’s all it is.


Sarah’s dad understood an important truth: If you make a tiny bit of progress every single day, and end that day better than you were that morning, you are winning.  And if you are winning, day after day, you must be a winner. It’s all about daily progress. When children become gritty learners – the kind that never give up – they are winning every day. What the world calls losing is actually just feedback. It’s fuel for learning.


For example, winning could mean studying for a test better than you did yesterday.  Or being more patient with your family today than you were yesterday; Or being more organized than you were yesterday; Or covering your man better than you did in last week’s game; or watching the ball better than yesterday. It’s always about competing with yourself…with YOUR previous best. In every case learning is taking place. And those who learn the most end up winning the most. The hidden paradox is that winning is a by-product…a fortunate outcome – not the primary goal for gritty learners.


Winning is actually the inevitable outcome of beating your own personal best day after day. And a trophy is just a symbol of your victory over self-doubt, fear, and laziness. Sarah liked the idea of competing against herself. She believed she could beat her best over and over again, and then she’d let the trophies just show up on their own. Using this approach, it would be impossible to be a loser!

 Teach your children to take the pressure off themselves about winning trophies. Instead of comparing themselves to others, teach them to focus on ending each day a little better than they were that morning. Gritty learners feel like winners every day!

Bonus Video Feature:

"Let's Do It Anyway!"

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Please click here to watch Let's Do It Anyway and complete your weekly assignment page so you can help your child overcome the times when practicing is no fun.


Watch the video here

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"Overcoming Adversity in Sports and Life"

Thursday, August 16th

9:00 pm EST

45-minute live webinar plus Q&A with David!

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"Words Can Change Your Brain" by Andrew Newberg and Mark Waldman

Our brains constantly get in the way of effective communication. They are lazy, angry, immature, and distracted. They can make a difficult conversation impossible. But Andrew Newberg, M.D., and Mark Waldman have discovered a powerful strategy called Compassionate Communication that allows two brains to work together as one. Using brain scans, as well as data collected from workshops, Newberg and Waldman have seen that Compassionate Communication can reposition a difficult conversation to lead to a satisfying conclusion. Whether you are negotiating with your boss or your children, the brain works the same way and responds to the same cues. Some of the simple and effective takeaways in this book include: • Make sure you are relaxed;

• Never speak for more than 20-30 seconds at a time.

• Use positive speech; you will need at least three positives to overcome the effect of every negative used

• Speak slowly; pause between words. 

From Chump to Champ - David Benzel
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Are you tired of plodding along waiting for your athletic career to turn the corner? This guide for athletes is designed to improve performance and develop a leader's character before, during and after competition. The five strategies taught in this book will stretch your athletic and human potential as much as any workout or competition.

“Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.”

-  Michael Pritchard
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