Grit is about determination, resolve, resilience, discipline, self control, persistence and a willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve important goals. Research leader Angela Duckworth defines grit as the combination of perseverance and passion for the pursuit of long-term goals. Enthusiasm is common but endurance is rare.  Being gritty is hard work, but it is a key predictor of success. People who are gritty have the ability to stick with things until they are finished, even in the face of adversity, and they bounce back from failure or disappointment. They also persist when progress is slow, boring, tedious or difficult. Dr. Duckworth found that “where talent counts once, effort counts twice.”

Grit is “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.”

The psychological definition of grit contains two components: The ability to stick to long-term goals and the ability to keep going despite adversity.

Dr. Duckworth explains that finding with this formula:



When you apply effort to a talent, you get a skill. And when you apply effort to a skill, you get achievement.

Without effort, your talent is just untapped potential. And without effort, your skill is just something you could’ve done, but never did. That is why grit counts twice, and that is why it’s such an important factor. No matter what long-term goals you’re trying to achieve, you need grit to get there. And the good news is that you can grow your grit.

How to grow a ‘Gritty’ Footballer

Support Your Son’s/Daughter’s Football Passion

One of the characteristics of a ‘gritty’ footballer is that they are motivated to seek happiness through continued focused engagement with football. Be your son’s/daughter’s number 1 supporter for the entirety of their football journey. 

Encourage Your son/daughter Out of Their Comfort Zone

Encourage your son/daughter to try and continue attempting football skills that might be challenging. Encouraging them to try new things gives them a chance to prove that they can do anything.

Some parents may believe that if their son/daughter is good or not good at a skill, it is because they were born that way. The problem with this belief is that it leads some footballers to give up on things easily if they do not succeed right away. 

Let Your Son/Daughter Get Frustrated

Parents don’t like seeing their son/daughter struggle but taking risks and struggling is an important way to learn. When your son/daughter is dealing with a skill, that is difficult to master, resist the urge to jump in and save them and do not allow them to quit at the first sign of discomfort. Pay attention to your own levels of anxiety. Don’t be afraid of your son’s/daughter’s feelings of sadness or frustration; this is how they develop resilience.

Model a Growth Mindset      

Dr. Duckworth believes that the best way to increase grit is to teach 

‘growth mindset.’

Dr. Dweck has found that people with growth mindsets are more resilient and tend to push through struggles because they believe that hard work is part of the process and they do not believe that failure is a permanent condition. 

In a growth mindset, a footballer understands that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence. The opposite of a growth mindset is a fixed mindset. A person with a fixed mindset believes they have a certain amount of brains and talent and nothing can change that.

A growth mindset in a young footballer is shaped by parents through the language and behavior they model for their son or daughter. In order to encourage a growth mindset, be mindful of your own thinking and the messages you send to your son/daughter through your words and actions.

Praising a footballer for being smart suggests that innate talent is the reason for success, while focusing on the process helps them to see how their effort leads to success. When parents talk positively about making mistakes, their son/daughter start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.

Brainstorm Together

If your son/daughter is struggling with their football one of the best things you can do is discourage them from quitting at a low point. Instead, use the experience as a way to teach resilience as an opportunity for success.

Help them brainstorm strategies and make a plan of what actions they will take and how they will proceed, but allow them to take ownership of the solution. When your son/daughter understand that learning in football is not easy all the time and that having a tough time with a skill does not mean they will never master it, this is where resiliency and perseverance develop.

Teach your son/daughter that failing Is okay 

Talk with your son/daughter regularly about your own failures and how you persevered, or ways you could have been more resilient. Young people learn from the adults around them, so if you want your son/daughter to handle setbacks in football with grace and calm and become a model for determination, you need to model this yourself.

Encourage your son/daughter to build alternative plans and think of different ways to view situations. Show them that being flexible and knowing how to problem solve is a useful and mature quality.

Praise Effort, Not Accomplishment

The goal of a task is not perfection, and if you intervene constantly, your son/daughter will realize that you do not have confidence in their abilities. Engage in discussions about trying new things and let them talk about things that are difficult for them. Discuss any long-term and short-term goals and how they plan to achieve both. Encourage your son/daughter to openly share their struggles and how they got past them. Share feelings about challenges and celebrate when they achieve their goal. 

Be a Gritty Parent

The best way for a footballer to learn grit is from watching their parents. You can tell your son/daughter what you want them to do and how you want them to act, but the real lesson is in how you act. Show your son/daughter that you take on tasks that are sometimes scary, and that you sometimes struggle or fail and then bounce back. Model resilience for your son/daughter and show them that failing is nothing to be afraid of.

Take Away Message:

Giving your son/daughter a chance to fail and bounce back is one of the greatest gifts you can give as a parent. Allow your son/daughter to struggle and feel discomfort. Allow them to go through the emotions of disappointment and help them figure out the next steps to make the situation better and more productive. It is within this learning process that they will develop perseverance, resiliency, and true grit, which will lead them in the direction of success throughout their football journey and life after football.

Please feel free to contact me for support via or 0438184994.