“Once you’ve done the mental work, there comes a point where you have to throw yourself into the action and put your heart on the line” – Phil Jackson
Preparation and focus is everything.
It’s no accident that the most successful basketball players create an action plan to reach their dreams and goals. They don’t just hope it happen. They take action.
Having an action plan and writing them down, transforms vague wishes or dreams into reality. It moves them from being hoped for one day into focused, and sometimes, public statements of intent.
Research on sports psychology for basketball has confirmed that committing to goal setting exercise by writing action plans down, formulating a series of actions to support them, sharing the goals with others and reviewing them frequently and regularly all progressively improve the outcomes of action plans.
Action planning can be a significant contributor to personal and professional success. It’s the detail behind a personal mission statement. And used properly, action planning helps you focus, acknowledge and embed achievement. Action plans also reinforce the desired behaviors which create good habits and success. It’s your success formula!
Here is a list of things to consider when creating your action plan:
Think of an action plan like a race. Just like in a race, warm up your body and mind before you make your action plan. See yourself reaching the finish line, celebrating the win, and have a reward ready for once you complete your tasks. Successful basketball players know they will win before they even start.
Most goals require a multitude of steps to complete, often overlapping and dependent on each other. For this reason, prioritize your steps included in your plan so you can work on the most important ones first. Prioritize your goals by rating each of them on a scale of 1 to 10. As you go throughout your list, you’ll find yourself also making comparisons in terms of which goals are more important relative to the others.
If you want to achieve a skill within the next six months, for example, improving your basketball mental toughness, you can create short-term checkpoints that will allow you to review your progress towards your goal.
If something seems too overwhelming, we tend to do nothing because we don’t know where to start. Breaking down projects into smaller tasks will prevent this from happening.
Sometimes in life and in basketball, things do not play out as you had hoped or planned. To prepare for and deal with the unexpected, take the initiative to review your action plan and change it if necessary. You need to go back to your action plan and re-work it.
As a professional basketball player, you must always be flexible, prepared, and willing to adapt to change and unforeseen circumstances.
Creating a powerful action plan always begins with having a clear purpose, vision or goal in mind. It is designed to take you from wherever you are right now directly to the accomplishment of your targeted goal for your basketball mental game. With a well-designed plan, you can achieve virtually any goal you set out to accomplish.
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