Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

Building Confidence with Positive Self-talk

“When you miss a shot, never think of what you did wrong. Take the next shot thinking of what you must do right” — Tony Alfonso

build-confidence-sports-psychologistWe all mess up sometimes. It could happen in our daily lives over and over again. We can’t avoid mistakes, but we can avoid the harsh self-talk we often punish ourselves with. Doing so could change your basketball mental game.

Self-talk, or your inner dialogue, is perfectly normal. Self-talk is a way that humans learn, or repeat ideas of encouragement or censor.

But negative self-talk can contribute to stress and even depression, which put the body into terrible metabolic state while playing a basketball game.

According to sports psychologists for basketball, negative self-talk can induce physical as well as mental stress, harming your cardiovascular health, gut health, and immune system.

Thoughts like, “I can’t do this”, “I’m not fast enough or strong enough” or worse “I’m not good enough” are only going to increase the amount of pressure you feel when they need to perform your best. Ultimately, that pressure you are working on getting rid of because it’s part of that “Interference” that gets in the way of your best performances.

The solution is to keep that intelligent mind of yours busy with the “right” thoughts that crowd out the negative thoughts.

Not only you can improve your performance with positive expectations, it also improves your overall wellbeing.

Studies in sports psychology for basketball show that athletes with positive expectations tend to outperform those with negative expectations. Positive results occur because favorable expectations for your own performance lead you to engage in behaviors which tend to lead to success.

Positive self-talk make you feel more confident.

Most of the time, negative self-talk can hinder you from performing at your fullest. This gives you second thoughts about your ability to carry out the task. With positive self-talk, you can put your doubts on the wayside – so you can focus on accomplishing your dreams with flying colors.

If you think confidence doesn’t really equate to success, think again.

Those who are successful at what they do truly believe in themselves and their abilities. In fact, confidence is so important to success that many sports psychologists believe that it is one of the primary prerequisites to personal and professional success.

The first step in getting your expectations working for you is to change your expectations from negative to positive. One way to do this is to focus on positive information about yourself because negative expectations frequently arise from focusing on negative information. For example, if you have negative expectations about yourself or someone you are mentoring because you are focusing on a recent poor performance, try to remember other times when you have performed well. Focus also on positive qualities of you which can contribute to a good performance. This change in your focus away from negative information and onto positive information will help you to build positive expectations.

A second way to foster positive expectations is to keep your positive view ‘fresh’ by reminding yourself of positive information about yourself through visualizing.

Finally, improving your basketball mental skills will make it much easier to have positive expectations for you.

To make self-talk more effective, you must develop effective self-talk routines that you practice and use consistently.

When it comes to improving your performance through self-talk, try the strategies from my workbook “An Athlete’s Guide to Peak Performance Series – Building Confidence.”

This workbook is packed with mental strategies that you can start using immediately. It will teach you how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare you to stay confident when faced with adversity.

To build your confidence you must change the way you think.

A 100% of the time it is 90% mental.

Confidence is a mind-set skill that doesn’t just happen by chance. You must work at it.

To build your confidence, specific strategies are required. These strategies can be found in my workbook – An Athlete’s Guide to Peak Performance Series– Building Confidence

Go to Click products and get started on Building Your Confidence with Sports Performance Top Mental Game Coach.

Updated: March 30, 2017 — 8:31 am

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