Basketball Mental Skills Article

The Impact of Approval Seeking

“Be and look prepared. Be a man of integrity. Never break your word. Don’t have two sets of standards. Stand up for yourself. Show them what you can do on and off the court” – Red Auerbach.

Humans share an innate drive to connect with others.

Because of the consequences of rejection, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others.

Sports psychology for basketball research has shown that social rejection activates many of the same brain regions involved in physical pain, which helps explains why some athletes seek approval from others.

The Impact of Constant Approval Seeking

There are several pitfalls of an approval-seeking mindset.

Constantly seeking approval can seriously derail your basketball success in the long run.

When you try to please everyone, you set yourself up for nonstop perfection, leading to performance anxiety and mental game stress.

The risk is higher when this overwhelms the way you think of yourself, when you start to second guess yourself, and when you begin to always look outwards for signs of whether you are ‘doing the right thing’ or whether you’re ‘good enough.’

Negative self-thoughts can begin to creep in and start affecting your basketball confidence.

Eventually, all of these results in the sense that you need to train harder, do more to keep up, and be more to prove yourself, robbing you of the joy of playing ball and resulting in burnout.

What Drives Your Approval-Seeking Mindset

Sports psychologist for basketball has pointed out two reasons behind this mindset.

The first is the fear of failure. Fear of failure is often rooted in the need to seek approval from others.

You fear that if you fail, other people won’t like you. This is the single major obstacle to the success of athletes in basketball.

Then when the fear of failure is taken to its extreme, chances are you become preoccupied with not making mistakes in whatever you do.

The second is the fear of rejection. This fear hinders performance and inhibits expression.

Athletes begin to succumb to this fear at a young age, primarily when they need love and support from friends and family. This behavior can easily follow through as you age and begin to play ball.

It’s natural for us to seek approval from others as it gives us a feeling of security, but if you find this need negatively affects how you think and behave, it’s time for a change.

Here are some basketball psychology strategies you can follow:

1. It starts with you asking yourself, “Am I one of these athletes who have always been an approval seeker”?
2. “Where on the pendulum do I sit, and am I okay with that”?
3. You then need to ask, what is this costing me? Professionally, personally, physically, psychologically, or financially?
4. “What does my intuition say in how I react or respond to this situation?”
5. Ask yourself – “what next” or “what can I change, or do I even want to?”
6. “Now that I can identify this in me, how do I now manage this mindset?”
7. Accept the situation and outcome of your decision and what impact you have on yourself. This is self-responsibility.

It would help if you took charge of your thoughts instead of remaining chained by your ego’s need for support and protection.

Believe that you are worthy and that you are capable of doing what you want to do.

You have what it takes to reach the levels that you dream of and desire. Start working on your mental skills today. There is no better time than right now!

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


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