Basketball Psychology

Sports Psychology for Basketball Players & Coaches

Importance of Mental Toughness

“In basketball, the mental is to the physical as four is to one,” Bob Knight

The above quote is implying that your mental toughness is 4 times more important than your physical toughness. Even if a player acquires great physical strength, if their mind is weak they will not be able to achieve ultimate success as a basketball player.

Why Is Mental Toughness Important?

Creating a tough basketball mind can ensure consistent success because it will give you the motivation necessary to attain your goals.

It wills players to be entirely engaged in the game and ignore any distractions.

It is vital to be focused when on the court or else your opponent will take advantage of your preoccupied mind and strike when you least expect it.

Of course, a lot of unfortunate things may arise during the game which will shake your performance but if you can keep your head in the game and not divert your attention then you are one step ahead of your opponent.

This requires a great deal of basketball confidence which many players lack due to past failures.

Basketball psychologists state that elite basketball players have had breakdowns in the middle of the game because of their lack of self-confidence and composure.

To boost your confidence you need be mentally strong which means to not dwell on the negative factors but focus on what you can do to bring yourself back up.

How Can It Affect Your Confidence?

According to several basketball psychology articles, as your mental toughness improves so does your confidence.

Your confidence is a positive state of mind that allows you to be motivated to play your best. The best way a person can achieve confidence is by having a positive mental attitude during the game.

Whether it’s a teammate that’s not cooperating, or an unfair referee, the only way to make sure you accomplish your goals is to focus on the positives and on what you can control.

Every game comes with a tremendous nervousness that even the greatest players still feel from time to time. Nervousness is the major cause of silly mistakes and failure.

In order to overcome this, you need to develop your mental skills to be able to control your emotions and thoughts.

Make your goals your number one priority and eventually, you will be too preoccupied with achieving your goals that you won’t even have room in your mind to feel nervous.

You will be setting yourself up to enter the zone where you can achieve peak performance.

Mental preparation is a key factor to improve your mental toughness.

Firstly, positive self-talk every day can convince your mind that you are the best and that nothing can shake your confidence.

Secondly, visualization can allow you to set goals for yourself and feel more determined to reach them by picturing the joy of success.

These are the elements of mental preparation that will help you build confidence and become a mentally tough player.

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

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Updated: January 5, 2018 — 8:24 am

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