Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

The 3-R’s of Mental Toughness

“The more concerned we become over the things we can’t control, the less we will do with the things we can control” – John Wooden

The ability to concentrate in the present and to focus on the task is very important in achieving peak performance in basketball.

During a competition, you will switch your concentration on and off repeatedly with the ebb and flow of competition.

Turning concentration on and off makes it more difficult to get into a rhythm.

Total concentration occurs when you become totally immersed in the task, feels that time is suspended, and loses the sense of being separate from your surroundings.

According to sports psychology for basketball, keen focus during competition has the following five basic elements:

1. The ability to direct attention to a relevant object, thought, or feeling
2. A present tense orientation or here and now focus
3. The ability to deflect or ignore distractions, irrelevant thoughts
4. The ability to refocus on the relevant cues when distracted
5. The ability to fix or narrow attention

No matter how old or experience you are, it is never too late or irrelevant to learn more about the importance of remaining on point at all times.

Distraction hurts your confidence, which in turns hurts your mental game. Fortunately, you can get back on track by following the three R’s strategy.

Recognizing the Distraction – Before you partake in any athletic competition, it is important for you to know what your distractions are, so that you can maintain the proper mental focus and stay sharp. When you know exactly what distracts you, it becomes much easier for you to steer clear of these issues.

When you are well aware of what distracts you and you know your risk factors long before competition begins. Giving you a chance to openly acknowledge your weaknesses and identify them before they have a chance to affect your performance keeps you from potentially losing focus.

Regrouping -If the distractions continue to take place, this is a normal course of events, but it does not have to keep you from losing focus entirely. Once the distraction has taken place, it is time to regroup. In order to regroup, you will need to stop thinking about whatever it is that distracts you and start directing your attention elsewhere.

Refocus On the Task At Hand The beauty of sports is that there is always another task to be focused on. There is always a next play and even when you are distracted, you have a chance to make things right immediately. You can do this by asking yourself a simple question: “What do I need to focus on right now to make this play, hit a good shot, or stay in the process?”

Focusing is a crucial skill when it comes to athletic success and you will be able to shake off moments where your focus is lacking and hone in on your mental skills to enjoy more success than your more distracted counterparts.
By following the above 3-R’s strategy, you can get into the zone and stay there for as long as needed.

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

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Updated: August 22, 2017 — 9:42 am

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