Basketball Mental Skills Article

How To Train Your Mind

“Once you LEARN to quit, it becomes a HABIT.” Vince Lombard

If you set up a very high expectation for success, you’re going to set yourself up for fear of not obtaining whatever it is.

Why Fears Hinder Performance

Everyone experiences the fear of failure at some point or the other in his or her career.

For some, it may be short-lived, and for others, it may be recurring.

Sports psychologist for football believes that the fear of failure is the single greatest obstacle to football success.

Taking it to the extreme, athletes become pre-occupied with not making a mistake, with seeking approval or praise above all other considerations. They become essentially paralyzed from moving forward or taking any action.

So, it is one of the main reasons why many athletes do not reach their full potential.

From a young age, athletes are taught to associate failure with shame and guilt.

To break out of that football mind prison, you need to go beyond physical training.

How to Overcome the Fears

The experience of fear of failure is in the words of “I can’t,” “I won’t be able to,” or something along those lines.

When you experience it, you become more vulnerable to becoming tense and anxious during competition.

Eventually, your confidence in football takes a hit.

However, there is some sports psychology for football strategies you can follow to manage your fear of failure.

First – identify the reason behind your fear. Analyze the root cause of the fear and then plan actions to overcome it.

Second – acknowledge the setback for your irrational fears. Being afraid of failure isn’t a sign that something’s wrong with you. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. Fear is a natural human emotion. Love yourself enough to let yourself feel whatever it is you’re feeling.

Ask yourself: ‘What happened? ‘What could I have done better?’ ‘What factors were in and out of my control?’ Then focus on things in your control to minimize your fears.

Finally, counter your fear with contingency plans and learnings. Learn more about mental skills techniques such as positive self-talk and imagery to minimize your fears. A somewhat abstract but beneficial way to deal with the possible fear of failure is to look at it as a sign that you need more instructions or practice in that area.

Remember, failure is an opportunity to learn.

As you embrace your fears for what they really are and press forward with confidence, you’ll find that success is just as real a possibility as failure.

Work hard, focus on what you can control, and learn every step of the way. It’ll make the little victories much sweeter.

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