Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

How to Get Into the Zone

Getting into the zone is the result of intense mental preparation as well as physical and game ready preparation. It is not just one thing. Some think that players get themselves in the zone by only preparing themselves physically or by knowing the plays. Quite the contrary, getting in the zone requires  being mentally tough as well as many other variables.

Often times you will see professionals and even younger athletes listening to their iPods prior to a game. Why are they doing this? To them it is helping to prepare them get into the zone. Whether it is a reality or superstition, basketball mental toughness comes from preparing yourself psychologically many days ahead of a game as well as on game day.

Players sometimes are unable to put into words how they were able to get into the zone after a particular spectacular performance in a game. They may say something like “I don’t know. Everything just fell into place and I can’t explain it.” This is usually the result of great mental toughness and physical preparation for the game.

Basketball clearly is a game of talent, physical strength and ability, but it is also an extremely mental game. Basketball mental toughness takes time to build up but it can be achieved in a short period of time if the athlete is ready and willing to take on the challenge of preparing him or herself not just physically but mentally as well.

How a player found themselves playing in the zone is sometimes a phenomena. It can only be described as the result of preparation both physically as well as mentally. To omit the mental part of the game is to find a athlete who will never or rarely get in the zone. Those players that find themselves often playing in the zone are players who understand basketball psychology and are mentally tough.

Visualization is one way players prepare themselves mentally for a game. This is when a player will actually visualize him or herself playing in the zone. The eyes are closed and you visualizes each play as it occurs on the court and each shot going in. This is just one form of mental preparation that players can use that is simple yet takes practice and consistency. A mental game coach can lead the athlete thru this a few times to enable them to do it on their own.

Getting in the zone is a result of consistent mental and physical preparation, which leads to mental toughness. To watch a player playing in the zone you can rest assured they have put in the necessary work to have such extreme success on the court.

Next week post – How to Stay in the Zone


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Updated: September 2, 2012 — 7:40 am


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