“The reason I became such a successful athlete was my mind was saying that no matter who you put up against me, I am better; I am the best.” Michael Jordan
Positive self-talk has been studied scientifically for almost as long as sports psychology has existed.
Researchers believe positive self-talk can enhance athletic performance, and negative self-talk can hurt performance.
Sport psychology for basketball research is beginning to reveal that positive self-talk is more than just displaying a positive attitude. It is changing the mindset of athletes.
Positive self-talk can create value in athletes’ physical and mental games. It can help athletes build skills that enhance and improve their performance during competition.
What Is Positive Self-Talk?
Positive self-talk is running dialogues in your head with inspiring words, phrases, and mantras that will motivate you and keep you focused in the moment.
It is the inner voice in your mind that makes you feel good about yourself and your performance.
Positive self-talk is an optimistic voice in your mind that always speaks uplifting words that will encourage and create the mental toughness you need to be the best athlete possible and outperform the competition.
Why Use Positive Self-Talk
Self-talk can affect your perspective. It can lift you or take you down.
Positive self-talk will lift you, and negative self-talk will take you down.
Sport psychology for basketball reports the effective use of positive self-talk can improve performance by helping athletes regulate their feelings, thoughts, and energy during a game.
It will help athletes feel confident and in control of their performance. When mistakes are made or the game gets tight, positive self-talk will help athletes remain calm, stay motivated, and keep their game at a level where they can perform well.
The practice of positive self-talk is the process that allows athletes to persevere through the challenges of the game.
Positive self-talk is a simple yet powerful technique that most athletes overlook and think is unnecessary.
It is a big part of how you communicate what you think about your abilities and performance. It drives your confidence and the direction your performance will go on the court.
Whenever you have a negative message or thought in your head, you want to immediately replace it with a positive thought or word.
For example, if you are shooting free throws and tell yourself, “I am not going to make this basket,” you will more likely not.
A statement like “I am going to make this shot” will produce better results.
Over time and with practice, you can develop this way of thinking to produce the desired outcomes.
The goal is to connect positive statements and the belief that it can happen to make this technique successful.
How to Train Your Brain to Be Positive
• Always think positive
• Do visualization
• Do imagery
• Practice relaxation techniques
• Surround yourself with positive athletes and coaches
Basketball psychology supports the theory that athletes who continually practice positive self-talk will improve their performance.
If you want more ways to build mental toughness, check out my FREE resources at DrDCoffey.com/Resources
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