“I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus”. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of the best basketball players of all time, and he recognizes the importance of focus. However, players are often haunted by the elusive ghost of perfection, which interferes with their ability to perform. While aiming for perfection, they end up in a wild goose chase that hinders progress.
The Pursuit of Perfection
Every day, basketball coaches and players are in search of perfection. They want to get perfect shots and perfect scores. Mental Game Coaches do not believe in perfection. The pursuit of perfection often leads players down a road of paralysis, anxiety, and depression.
Perfectionism is often a trait developed from the early years of life. Authority figures such as parents, teachers, and coaches desire the best from the athletes. They often, unknowingly, set the standards of perfection for the athletes who are all too eager to please them.
The media and society also create an environment where athletes see their self-worth tied to their achievements. Such attitudes create problems because the mental game of basketball operates on different grounds that require the ability to adapt and rise from mistakes.
Issues Associated with Perfectionism
Even though perfectionists feel deeply about their goals, they often procrastinate on achieving them. They usually have a vision of how they would like to achieve their goals and set out on the arduous task expecting only the best.
However, their attention to detail soon becomes a problem that causes them to feel like they are underachieving. This leads to them putting off important tasks and causing frustration during practice.
Basketball psychology suggests that for a player to thrive, they must quickly adapt to new realities. They tend to push against diminishing returns. Even when it is time to take a break and look at things from a different perspective, perfectionists do not stop. They spend hours trying to perfect things, which causes them to be unhappy, anxious, and depressed.
Since perfectionists are more likely to judge themselves harshly, they are likely to go through long stretches of frustration that go unnoticed, interfering with their performance.
Perfectionists are often obsessed with other issues that they forget some of the essential components of teamwork. Which further hinders performance.
What can be done to overcome perfectionism?
To effectively overcome perfectionism, you must understand the difference between realistic and unrealistic goals.
Consider taking the FREE Mental Game Assessment to help you identify and develop realistic goals. Click DrDCoffey.com/FreeResources