K2: MIND OVER MATTER

 25 MINS / GROUP ACTIVITY
RESOURCES REQUIRED:   1 COMPUTER (PREFERABLY WITH PROJECTOR AND SOUND)

Your state of mind when facing a challenge is very important part of enhancing the power of the learning opportunity the challenge presents to you. If you believe that you can overcome the challenge (not necessarily straight away but eventually) your mind will quite literally control the final outcome.

In sport this is referred to as PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). This can be seen in action in sport when you can see a sports person focusing their mind before the start gun fires, they take the final run up or take the important shot. Before they do you can regularly see them visualising a successful outcome. This PMA is a very essential part of their training. It is for you too.

In the following video example David Beckham is captain of the England football team playing in a 2002 World Cup qualifying match against Greece. England were 2-1 down and in the last few seconds of injury time the referee grants a penalty kick to England (outside of the penalty box at 30 yards). This meant that if he missed the shot they would not play in the world cup at all. If he scored they would. He only had once chance. He had to get the ball over the other team who had all made defensive wall to stop him. He did not even have clear sight of the goal. Other professional footballers consider this type of shot virtually impossible. All the odds were against him. The whole of the country’s hopes back home were rested on him and this last chance. It is easy to imagine under these circumstances that fear and doubt could quickly take hold in a situation like this. But watch what he does just before taking the shot…and take note of what he does….

What do you think he was doing before taking the shot?

You can practice this too.

CHALLENGE

Unknown

Hold a pendulum (anything with weight to it attached to a thread or string) in one hand.

Holding your hand as still as possible (get someone else to hold your arm or hand still) try to make it swing around in circles just using the power of your mind.

DID IT WORK?     YES/NO
HOW DID THIS MAKE YOU FEEL? (Excited, scared stupid, silly, upset).
OK….Have another go. This time make it swing only from side to side.
DID IT WORK?     YES/NO
HOW DID THIS MAKE YOU FEEL? (Excited, scared stupid, silly, upset).

 

BASED ON THIS CHALLENGE DO YOU THINK YOU EXHIBITED A GROWTH OR A FIXED MINDSET?

The truth is that it is not really magic at all, your mind is controlling the outcome….you are literally are using the power of your mind, …but  not in the way that you think you are.

What is actually happening is that your brain is subconsciously sending messages to tiny little muscles down your arm and through your hand that is very subtly influencing the movement of the pendulum, but you can barely sense it consciously. However this only happens with people exhibiting an open ‘Growth’ mindset (those that believe it is possible). If you don’t think its possible your subconscious simply wont send those muscles the instructions they need. So put in simple terms this only works if you believe you can.

Now you know the science behind this have another go…

Did it work better the second time when it made more sense to you and you believed it?

JUST THINK WHAT THE SAME IDEA COULD DO FOR YOU IN OTHER SITUATIONS?

Try to think of a recent challenge? How do you think you could have changed the outcome putting these ideas into practice? Do you think it would have helped?

Watch this video of a group of year 7 pupils in another school try the same experiment.

TAKE HOME CHALLENGE:

Think of a challenge that you will face this week. How could you use this idea to help? When you come back next week you can explain how it went and how you felt about it. 

NEXT>K3: HOW OUR BRAINS WORK & WE LEARN