Basketball Mental Skills Article

How to Play At The Highest Level

“I have learned that peace is not the absence of trial, trouble, or torment but the presence of calm in the midst of them” Don Meyer

The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure is directly linked to your performance on the court.

It is a key athletic trait of successful basketball players.

How can you stay cool, calm, and collected when dealing with the mental aspect of the basketball game?

What is Composure?

Think about the word “composure” for a minute.

What does it inspire within you?

How do you see yourself playing when you envision yourself being composed?

According to sports psychology for basketball, “Composure is the ability to play at the highest level under the highest pressure without fear of failure and with consistently high-level results.”

It results from basketball mental toughness, practice, navigating failure, a growth mindset, and learning how to engage loss when you are down.

The first step to improving your composure is to become aware of the underlying cause of mental breakdowns in your game.

This task seems easier said than done, as you must fully understand the concept of composure regarding basketball psychology and how it affects your performance.

Below are some root causes of poor composure:

1. You seek perfectionism — when you chase perfection, you focus too much on the results instead of on the process. This makes it challenging to keep your composure during crunch time.

2. You seek approval or worry too much about what others will think — worrying too much distracts you from your performance. As you feel worried and fear, your muscles tense, your breathing quickens, and you begin to sweat profusely.

3. You are use to the negative self-talk in your mind — for the most part, you’re so use to your negative thinking that you aren’t aware of it. Negative beliefs cause you to play defensive and tentative instead of composed and free.

Becoming a Composed Athlete

Several successful basketball players have faced setbacks in their careers.

Kawhi Leonard had an injury that kept him from barely playing over an entire year. There were several moments where he looked fallible, yet each time he faced a tough defeat, he somehow found a way to bounce back. His sheer mental toughness led him from setback to the ultimate champion in basketball, and his commitment to winning was infectious.

You can take inspiration from Kawhi Leonard’s exhibition of composure. His ability to remain unflappable and never get too high or too low is an excellent lesson for any athlete.

As you continue your basketball journey, learn how you can transform the most demanding challenges and setbacks you face into the raw materials of future victory.

Develop a calm and composed mindset when facing your challenges.

As a result, you will remain calm, rational, and confident in your ability to make the best of every situation.

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