Basketball Mental Skills Article

How to Maintain Composure

“If you get tough mentally, you can get tough physically and overcome fatigue.”Pat Riley

You’ve practiced for weeks, and it’s time to deliver.

You got a good night’s sleep, but with the opponent in front of you, your mind now goes through unwanted scrambling thoughts.

You panic, and your confidence goes down.

What happened?

The pressure of performing in a heated moment can seem impossible. But there are ways to handle these stressful situations.

Performing Under Pressure

Many athletes choke in competition compared to their performance during practice.

This is a common challenge for athletes. There are many reasons why someone might not perform at their best.

One is a very high expectation of your performance.

The more important the outcome is to you, or the more uncertain of the outcome you are, the more anxious you will feel.

The anxiety is real, and it will suck the ability to perform out of you. It hurts the team’s mission, which is to win, and it is horrifying.

Why It’s Mental – NOT Physical

The pressure disrupts your performance, speeds up your heart rate, and makes you struggle to breathe.

Thinking clearly becomes difficult; you may lose some control of your physical and mental abilities and your capacity to execute your skills.

The pressure causes you to feel anxiety, which is primarily fear, but the more often you experience high-pressure situations, the more it becomes apparent.

According to sports psychology for basketball, pressure is essential in the athlete’s mind. The pressure is an athlete’s interpretation of their situation, whether on competition day or any other stressful situation.

The pressure and stress are basically all in your head.

Your mind creates anxiety when under stress.

The pressure you feel to perform well does not come from your environment or the quality of your opponent. It results from how you perceive your opponent’s quality or the game’s importance.

While most athletes run from pressure, great champions learn to run to and through it.

It challenges them and forces them to grow, to improve.

Athletes’ success is strongly related to how well they can deal with pressure. Pressure can crush you or turn you into a diamond, which is why mindfully working on your mental game is so important.

Developing Your Mental Game

To truly thrive in big moments requires self-mastery of your mental game skills. The good news is that there are ways to develop your mental game in basketball.

Mastering the mind through breathing, meditation, and other mental skills techniques offers clear advantages.

Your goal in high-pressure situations should be to reduce feelings of anxiety, embarrassment, fear, and stress.

Avoid becoming distracted, stay in the moment, and remain mindful of your behavior and decisions, focusing on what helps you stay calm.

The mental game is the most essential yet overlooked part of basketball.

As you move up levels in basketball, the gap between physical skill and ability becomes smaller, and the mental game becomes a decisive factor that sets good players from elite players.

Check out more FREE resources at DrDCoffey.com/FreeResources and pick the one that will serve you well.


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