Get Mentally Prepared. Now!
If you get tough mentally, you can get tough physically and overcome fatigue” Pat Riley,
All athletes go through ups and downs. It’s a fact that even the most talented athlete can’t control.
They have an off game that leads to another off game, and then they find themselves in a cycle of poor mental performance, which leads to more off games.
The athletes that break this cycle are the ones that believe they are fully capable of dealing with changes and making something positive happen.
They refocus their attention on the controllable and enhancing their mental toughness.
In other words, they are physically relaxed and mentally prepared to cope with adversity.
How to Prepare for Challenges
The key is Mental Toughness.
Mental toughness is one of the essential ingredients for athletic success in basketball.
The mentally tough athletes go against the flow and have developed the ability to feel at ease with their discomfort by ignoring the temptation to ‘give up when they face challenges.
They continue to push through the ‘pain’ barrier of adversity.
They practice this friction in different situations to develop their mental toughness more broadly and deeply.
As a result, their comfort zone expands to include many situations or challenges. Even if the athletes haven’t experienced the specific challenge before, they are mentally prepared for uncertainty.
They are also aware of uncontrollable factors.
Uncontrollable factors are the things you have no control over. They include the weather, crowd noise, teammates’ performance, referees’ calls, coach reactions, or play calls.
The key to success is to focus on the controllable.
Focus on the things within your control. The things that are in front of you right here, right now. The current play and your responsibility.
How to Anticipate and Cope
When you are focused on the task at hand, it gets easier to anticipate and cope with it.
A focused mind makes you understand that many situations, even stressful ones, are not inherently bad. Instead, it’s the way you interpret and react to them.
This is where reframing comes in.
You can choose to interpret situations, even uncomfortable ones, as complex or challenging or as opportunities for growth and learning. Doing this enhances your ability to be mentally tough and to navigate difficulties more successfully.
The sport psychology concept of reframing is primarily about changing your mindset and self-talk.
Often, you cannot control the outcomes of situations or other people’s reactions. However, you can control how you react to it and what you say to yourself.
Changing your self-talk can enable you to think about challenges and react appropriately and constructively.
Choosing to interpret situations positively and looking for the solutions or opportunities inherent in challenging circumstances enables you to cope better with those future challenges and reduce the stress associated with them.
Utilizing sports psychology for basketball techniques is a valuable way of building your mental game skills and ability to cope with adversity in basketball.
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