“What is the best thing you can do in a close game? Drive to the basket and put pressure on the defense! Not jack up jump shots” Bob Knight
According to Sports Psychologist Jim Taylor, athletes perform better when they treat their minds as they do their bodies.
Your State of Mind
The state of mind is primarily defined by your life events, the people around you, and how you handle them.
Different athletes react differently to negative and positive situations.
State of mind can refer to a few concepts and ideas, but the two most common concepts are:
1. Your current emotions. Are you stable, happy, and able to perform effectively on the court, or are you experiencing some emotional distress or lack of awareness that impairs your judgment or knowledge?
2. Your perception of yourself. You could see yourself as a strong-willed and confident athlete, have a low state of mind, or have a gloomy outlook and make predominantly pessimistic assumptions about your performance.
Your mood shifts your view and influences your state of mind when deciding or experiencing an event. It is not always easy to master the mind and control its state, but over time and practice, such can be possible.
The first step is recognizing that stress is building so that you can take steps to manage and alleviate it before it causes problems.
Here are some things that can cause imbalance.
1. Yourself – overthinking, negative thoughts, thinking about the future, about the past, not being present, comparing yourself to others, getting jealous.
2. Neglecting your health – not eating healthy, not drinking enough water, not sleeping well, not breathing right.
3. Giving so much attention to social media – the more you are bombarded with what others are thinking of you and what’s happening around you, the more you go away from what you need to do. You stress about being stuck and unproductive, comparing yourself to others, and looking at the negative aspects of your game.
The Pre-game Mindset
One way to overcome pre-game anxiety and stress is to develop a pre-game mindset with proper mental preparation.
Your pre-game mental preparation strategies can help you feel confident, focused, and ready to trust your skills.
Pre-game routines vary for athletes because every athlete is different, and they react to different situations differently.
Many NBA players do this, even LeBron.
Pick a few of your favorite songs, watch a couple of highlight videos of your favorite player, and stretch out while doing this.
Then close your eyes and visualize performing well and winning the upcoming game.
Do these before you play, and it will elevate your game!
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