Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

Mental Toolkit for Success

“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

mental-performance-toolkitBuilding mental toughness is about regulating your emotions, managing your thoughts, and behaving in a positive manner—despite your circumstances.

Basketball Mental toughness involves more than just willpower; it requires hard work and commitment.

Growing stronger requires you to establish healthy habits, while giving up unhealthy habits that could hold you back from becoming better at the basketball mental game.

It’s easier to feel mentally strong when everything goes according to your plan—often; true mental strength becomes most apparent in the midst of adversity.

Choosing to build mental muscle is the best way to prepare for the inevitable obstacles in today’s competitive game.

To help fortify your mental game for these private battles you need mental tools and techniques that every top athlete possesses.

One of the ways you can build mental toughness is to control your emotions and thoughts. Wasting brain power ruminating about things you can’t control drains mental energy quickly.

The more you think about problems you can’t solve, the less energy you’ll have left for more productive endeavors.

Instead, save your mental energy for productive tasks that is within your control. When your thoughts aren’t productive, make a conscious effort to shift your mental energy to more helpful topics. The more you practice expending your mental energy wisely, the more it will become a habit.

Being mentally strong doesn’t mean you don’t experience emotions or setbacks. In fact, mental toughness requires you to become acutely aware of your emotions so you can make the best choice about how to respond.

Practice behaving like the person you’d like to become. Instead of saying, “I wish I could be more confident,” choose to behave like a more confident person.

Some discomfort is often necessary for greater gain, and tolerating that discomfort will turn your vision into a reality, one step at a time.

Research on sports psychology for basketball suggests that mental skills can have a huge impact on your performance. The most powerful part of mental skills is being in control of your mind and body and having the ability to ingrain new technical and mental habits that can be used consistently with minimum effort.

Today’s competitive environment doesn’t lend itself to making much time available for quiet reflection. Create time to reflect upon your progress toward developing your mental skills. At the end of each day, ask yourself what you’ve learned about your thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Consider what you hope to improve upon and accomplish.

Developing basketball mental toughness is an ongoing process and there is always room for improvement. Reflecting upon your progress can reinforce your ability to reach your full potential as you increase the knowledge and power of your mental took kit.

*Download the free mental game assessment and get started on Improving your Mental Game in Basketball

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Updated: June 5, 2017 — 9:05 am

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