Basketball Mental Skills Article

A Secret for Success – Affirmations

My brain, It cannot process failure. It will not process failure. Because if I sit there and have to face myself and tell myself, ‘You’re a failure, I think that’s almost worse than death.” Kobe Bryant

Affirmation has been shown to have positive effects on performance.

Research suggests that it can minimize performance anxiety while keeping you open to the idea that there is room for improvement.

When you are trying to change or improve your performance, it starts with your thoughts.

When you repeat affirmations to yourself or aloud, your mind is re-trained to begin seeing the statements as absolute truth.

Your thoughts drive your actions.

Studies have shown people who practice affirmations are more optimistic and have a clearer perspective on what they want to improve on and achieve.

How Affirmations Improve Performance

Affirmations work by helping you overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts.

When you repeat affirmations regularly and believe in them, you will see improvement in your performance.

You may have identified a weakness as a basketball player, such as a lack of confidence while playing. If you want to improve your basketball confidence, you can begin by writing an affirmation such as “I am confident.”

Affirmations should start with “I am” because the subconscious believes everything you say after the words “I am” to be true.

By changing your words to open and positive declarations, you begin to feel the shift in your performance.

Good Affirmations are:

• Said in the first person. A positive thought about you and your performance should begin with the word I.
By placing yourself at the center of the action, you train your mind to avoid negativity and embrace positivity.
An affirmation that places you in the center of the action puts you in the “driver’s seat,” so you can notice any negative thoughts or threats to your performance and shut them down.

• Always positive. Affirmations are a declaration against any negativity that could be affecting the mind.
As such, your affirmations should counter any negative thoughts that come into your mind by saying positive things to counter the negativity.

• Said repeatedly. To improve your basketball mental toughness, you should say your affirmations anytime a negative thought crops up, preferably daily and several times a day.

By making your affirmations part of your routine, you accustom the mind to positivity, which translates into better performance.

Affirmations and the Reticular Activating System (RAS)

The reticular activating system (RAS) is a network of cells at the base of the brain.

It is responsible for filtering out unnecessary information so important information gets through.

RAS takes what you focus on, creates a filter for it, and then only presents the important information to you.

When you affirm, that information goes to your mind, and the brain begins to work on it.

Therefore, choose wisely the affirmations you say and believe in them. Say them with meaning and conviction.

Once the brain understands your goals and affirmations, it sends information to the brain, and the brain begins to help you find opportunities to help you realize your statements.

Over time, the brain can help you achieve the goals you set through your affirmations.

Affirmations and the Subconscious Mind

Repeated words and thoughts get stronger by repetitions and sink into the subconscious mind.

These words and thoughts eventually get into the subconscious mind, and the subconscious mind accepts them as real.

Your subconscious mind functions as a servant to the conscious mind. It works to make your behavior consistent with your thoughts.

As your conscious mind processes your thoughts and actions, your subconscious mind simultaneously processes the thoughts and actions.

Once activated, your subconscious goals, thoughts, and actions persist until they are met.

If you want more ways to build mental toughness, check out my FREE resources at DrDCoffey.com/Resources

If this article helped you in any way, pay it forward by donating to The D. Coffey Foundation for Athletics & Education. No amount is too small – XtremeBallers.com/Donate. Thank you!


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