Basketball Mental Skills Article

Overcoming Perfectionism

Excellence is not a singular act but a habit. You are what you do repeatedly.” Shaquille O’Neal

In sports psychology for basketball, there are two different mindsets or ways of thinking:

1. Practice Mindset
2. Performance mindset.

These two powerful mindsets ultimately impact the degree to which athletes feel a desire to push themselves to develop a specific skill or how proactively they approach a difficult task.

Understanding of Practice Mindset

Athletes with a practice mindset believe that skills are built, and new abilities can be developed through practice and effort.

They firmly believe in their capacity to learn and grow.

They tend to persist in facing setbacks, invite feedback, and find inspiration from those around them.

They tend to see failure as part of learning and progressing. They also understand that mastery of a skill takes persistence, practice, and time.

Understanding of Performance Mindset

A high-performance mindset is authentic to you — and, at the same time, is optimal for a specific circumstance.

Your thoughts are the foundation of your performance mindset.

What you say to yourself matters.

The repetition and consistency of those thoughts turn into thought patterns.

And over time, patterns of thought influence how you see your opponent and your game, how you think about yourself and what’s possible on the court, and how you approach challenges, letdowns, and successes.

Essentially, your thoughts shape your experiences and significantly impact your ability to express yourself. The good news is you can develop a high-performance mindset.

Developing a High-Performance Mindset

While there are a variety of approaches to a high-performance mindset, here are a few principles to invest in:

Mindfulness: The first and foremost step is becoming aware of your inner world. A core component of mindfulness is the process of paying attention, on purpose, without judgment of your thoughts and emotions.

Self-Discovery: It is the process of developing profound clarity about your guiding principles and personal philosophy, which in turn, influences your thoughts, words, and actions. Positive self-talk is one such way of developing profound mental clarity.

Mental Skills: Like your physical body, you can develop and train your brain. You can learn how to generate mental toughness, a sense of calm, and attentional focus — all mental skills that come into play during difficult situations when it’s hard to maintain poise and high performance.

Athletes who excel in basketball know how to use their minds to get the cutting edge over their competition.

Irrespective of the situation, they have control over their thoughts.

They perform well consistently because they know how to think well always. They can live high-performing lives because they understand the critical elements of a high-performing mindset.

A winning mindset’s effect on basketball performance is critical, as seen through mindfulness, self-discovery, and mental skills.
With these techniques, you not only have a winning mindset but also can increase your performance and have the edge to be a winner!

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