Basketball Mental Skills Article

Boost Confidence for Success

Love that kids are building confidence on and off the court and unlocking their potential through sport.” Kobie Bryant

Confidence is defined as “a sureness about your abilities and the expectation that those abilities will lead you to a positive outcome.”

This is an excellent definition of confidence. It encompasses both a belief in yourself and your abilities and a belief in your future success.

These two factors with basketball mental toughness will lead any athlete to tremendous success in reaching optimal performance.

A boost in confidence can lead to success.

Without confidence, success may come but not to the full extent that is possible. Of course, one must consider the teammates’ talent, confidence, and mental toughness in determining the team’s success. Still, regarding your confidence for success, which is all you can control, there are ways you can improve them.

Tips to Boost Confidence for Success:

Develop a Winning Mind Set – Having a strong basketball mind is essential. Remember, sports are 90% mental, so being mentally tough is necessary. To become mentally tough, you must learn how to let things go. Don’t let lousy performance affect current or future performance. Learn to focus on the present and refocus quickly when you get distracted. By focusing on the present, you become more confident and ready to perform. Stay positive. Make a conscious effort to be upbeat, energetic, and optimistic about yourself and the games. Use routines. Routines will help you stay calm when the pressure and tension are on you to perform well for the team. It will also help you prepare your mind for all situations before it occurs.

Body Language – The way you carry yourself regarding your body language has a tremendous effect on your confidence. The simplest way to describe the best way to exude confidence is to stand and walk tall. Have you ever noticed how professional athletes carry themselves on and off the court? The guys walk with a swagger, and the girls walk as if the world revolves around them. Even if you don’t feel that level of confidence, still carry yourself in that manner. It not only speaks to the other players and fans, it speaks to you and assists you in developing a swag or an air; in other words, it helps build your confidence, which will also lead to basketball mental toughness.

In the same vein, the way you dress is important. Dress for success. Make sure your uniform is neat and clean. Make sure your shirt is neatly tucked in your shorts, and you have matching socks and shoes. This is your positive body language speaking externally to you, your opponents, and your fans.

Practice and Preparation are Progression – This statement, like the above, encompasses many components. In the most condensed way, it means to not just physical practice and prepare for a game but also mentally practice. Visualize the game before it happens. Visualize your team winning and you having a fantastic game. Visualize that you brought your A-game, and you were mentally tough throughout the entire game. Talk positively to yourself before, during, and after the game.

If you are not good in one area and better in another, focus on the area you are successful in while in the game and plan to put in extra time during practice to improve the other areas.

Stay away from Negative People and Situations – This statement pretty much explains itself. You don’t want to be around people that will put you down, get into trouble or talk negatively about you and your game. Instead, surround yourself with positive people, great players, and coaches that can help point out your talents, build you up and help take your game to the next level. Additionally, don’t complain; talk back and not listen when these great people are trying to give you constructive feedback and advice. Instead, do the opposite, listen, be appreciative, be proactive in individual practice, be a team leader, and find and live in the solutions.

If you fall, always get back up – If you are in the slump and feel you can’t get “it” and seem to be making mistakes all the time, do not give up, don’t beat yourself up; instead, take a deep breath and breathe. Listen to your coach and that positive voice within.

Confidence grows as you keep trying. As you keep trying, you will get better. The better you get, guess what? Confidence grows, and your basketball mental toughness gets stronger. So no matter how hard it is, pick yourself up and continue on the path towards success. Never give up – practice both mentally and physically.

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