We are in the thick of basketball season. There have been some outstanding games. To watch players come up with big shots and big plays is fun to watch. Even though we are seeing them physically deliver on the big stage, preparation for those shots actually begins long before any shot is ever taken.
Did you know that human beings only use about 5% of their Mental Potential? This week we want to introduce a very important part of your overall basketball development, “Mental Training Skills.”
While physical performance and ability is something we will focus heavily on, it is extremely important to train your mind as well. There are many great players who never reached their full potential due to their lack of ability to perform mentally.
To be the best you can be, you need to have what we call, “The Mental Edge.”
Mental Training + Skills = Elite Athlete.
To achieve the “Elite Athlete” status you need to be committed in your training and relentless in the pursuit of the goals you set for yourself. For the best results, focus on improving just one day at a time. Improve 1% a day…if you made 100 shots today, make nothing less than 101 tomorrow.
One of the most important aspects of mental training is “Positive Self-Talk .” This is how you achieve the proper frame of mind before ever performing a physical task. Positive Self-Talk is what you say and think to yourself before doing something. Thinking and saying positive words has a direct and positive effect on any physical activity, let’s say shooting.
For example before even taking a shot, Positive Self-Talk would be saying to yourself, “I got this. Big shot coming up and I am going to knock it down!” Focusing on the right thing produces results.
Another important step in your mental training is focusing on what you can control. You can’t control every call the referee makes, a teammates mistake, missed shots (it’s inevitable everyone misses), etc… but what you can control is how you prepare yourself and how you react to these situations. Even after a negative sequence, Positive Self-Talk must begin immediately for the next play. Always focus on the next play and always stay positive.
Self-imposed limitations are a huge obstacle for a lot of players. Too many people put limitations on what they can do. Imagine the things you could do if you refused to fail and believed everything you wanted was possible. Here a are a few great tips from our trainer Joe Stasyszyn, an expert on sports psychology who has recently been asked by USA Basketball to speak nationwide at their coaches academies, on how to overcome your mental hurdles and have instant success.
Visualization Exercise – Mental Drill
Close your eyes and imagine your best previous performance.
Relive it in your imagination as vividly as possible.
Try to recreate all the sensations. (sights, sounds ,feelings)
Imagine your feelings before, during, and after the event.
Now change it up and imagine your upcoming event.
Imagine the setting and moments prior to the upcoming event. (Detailed)
Be realistic and visualize a performance a little better than your best.
You need to see yourself doing something before you can make it happen!