What keeps elite athletes motivated to win? It's not just money.

A wealthy team doesn't automatically make for a successful team.

Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images
  • Revenues for teams in the MLB, the NBA, and the NHL are boosted by wins — but not those in the NFL.
  • Your favorite sports team might not be experiencing a "real" championship drought, at least compared to others.
  • The average overall length of a title drought in the NFL is 61.5 years
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Most talked about: How overparenting backfired on Americans

This is the most talked about Big Think video of 2018! What's your take?

  • American childhood is going, going… gone, says Professor Jonathan Haidt.
  • In the mid-'90s there was a sharp shift to overprotective parenting. In previous generations, kids were allowed to out of the house unsupervised from age 5-8, which has now become age 12-16. As a result, their independence, resilience, and problem-solving skills suffer.
  • "Give childhood back to kids so that they do what they most need to do, which is develop the skills of being an independent adult. Remember that the job of a parent is to work him or herself out of a job."
  • As a resource for parents, Jonathan Haidt recommends letgrow.org.
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Video games and the paradox of failure

The paradox of failure explains why even a healthy rage-quit won't keep a good gamer down.

(Photo from Flickr)
  • When we fail at video games, we discover an inadequacy (however small) in ourselves — yet a growing number of people continue to seek out these digital challenges.
  • Game designer Jesper Juul calls this the paradox of failure and argues it offers a unique space for personal growth.
  • By using the paradox of failure as a tool, video games could teach us to develop open mindsets and evade the pitfalls of learned helplessness.
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How hands-on learning fires up your brain

To strengthen your mind, work with your hands, says former astronaut Leland Melvin.

  • Learning is a mental and physical pursuit, says retired astronaut Leland Melvin.
  • Recalling his childhood, Melvin explains how working with his dad to turn a $500 bread truck into a family RV camper ultimately made him a better astronaut, able to maneuver the $2-billion dollar Columbus Laboratory out of the payload bay of a shuttle and attach it to the International Space Station.
  • Experiential learning — like hands-on DIY, engineering kits, and Duplo games — wires your brain for problem solving from a young age. It's a leg-up we can all give to the children in our lives.
  • "[W]hen we let [kids] build and create and it's meaningful and it helps them solve a problem, that gets them thinking about how they can be change makers themselves and how they can be scientists and engineers," says Melvin.

How overparenting backfired on Americans

Being raised indoors might the reason young Americans struggle in the adult world.

  • American childhood is going, going… gone, says Professor Jonathan Haidt.
  • In the mid-'90s there was a sharp shift to overprotective parenting. In previous generations, kids were allowed to out of the house unsupervised from age 5-8, which has now become age 12-16. As a result, their independence, resilience, and problem-solving skills suffer.
  • "Give childhood back to kids so that they do what they most need to do, which is develop the skills of being an independent adult. Remember that the job of a parent is to work him or herself out of a job."
  • As a resource for parents, Jonathan Haidt recommends letgrow.org.
Keep reading Show less