Basketball Mental Skills Article

Mental Toughness and the Zone

“If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results”. Unknown

In basketball, the zone is the place in a player’s game where the mental and physical come together and gel.

It’s when everything falls into place, and the players are playing effortlessly.

When you see a player playing in the zone, it is a beautiful site.

The zone is a symptom of pure basketball mental toughness and preparation. It is when all the work you have done comes together to perform an effortless game of basketball.

Of course, you are playing, which requires effort, but to be in the zone means that you are reaping the benefits of mental toughness and physical talent and that these two are gelling together.

When we witness a player executing his game while in the zone, it is as if they can do no wrong.

Every play is good, passes are great, defense is tight, rebounding is endless, shots are made, and it is done seemingly with little effort. It truly is the result of mental and physical preparation.

In any game you watch, you can usually see a player or a group of players get into the zone.

One thing to be aware of when playing in the zone that will become apparent as you watch other players and experience it yourself is that it is usually short-lived. Rarely does a player or group of players go through an entire game playing in the zone.

They may go through a hot streak, and it suddenly ends.

When you see a player playing in the zone or when you are in the zone, your passes are good, blocking is good, shooting is good, everything is good; then suddenly, you fall out of this rhythm.

Unfortunately, most players cannot play in the zone for an extended period.

One thing that will knock you out of the zone is awareness and allowing distractions to penetrate your mind.

It is over once you become aware that you are in the zone. You are out of the zone when you start celebrating what you just did.

As you develop the mental skills to play well enough to get in the zone and trust your physical skills and abilities, you will tend to get in the zone more often and stay there longer.

Playing in the present moment is all that is important.

Being focused in the here and now when you’re playing is all that is important.

If you focus and dwell on past shots or plays or worry about future shots or plays, you will not only be out of the zone but also hinder your overall performance.

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.


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