Do you ever find yourself thinking about things during the game that have nothing to do with the game?
For example, you might be wondering what your coach or parents think of you on the court, or are you thinking about a missed layup that happened five minutes before, or about mistakes of your teammates, or anything else that is not part of game in that moment?
Ideal state of being during the game is to be in the flow, which in a way is a lack of thinking. That is why Kobe Bryant used to remind himself not to think during the games! As soon as we have a thought about anything unrelated to the present situation we are immediately risking being thrown out of focus and stop being present in the game. We are half playing and half somewhere else.
The point is to stay focused and be present in the here and now, no matter what! Being present in the here and now is the best place for you to be mentally because it amplifies your opportunities to make the right move and play in the state of flow. This requires practice. If entering the Zone were easy, we would all be playing our best basketball every single game.
The distractions can be coming at you from various angles. Mainly from external and internal sources. What does that mean?
External sources of distractions come from outside of your person, such as visual triggers, fans acting provocative or disruptive, bad referee calls, equipment error, teammates making mistakes, etc.
On the other hand, and far more disruptive to your game, are internal sources. Such as your mood, confidence, thinking about the past or future, disruptive thoughts or feelings, meeting someone’s expectations, worrying about external situations like schoolwork or a relationship, overanalyzing your skills, or not feeling understood on the court.
Today’s tip on how to improve your mental game is: Stay as present as possible in the here and now during warm ups and the game time!
Work on your mental readiness off the court as part of your lifestyle. Get into a regular routine of practicing paying attention through focusing exercises and imagery. Some distractions take time to resolve. If a player were amazing at practice, and not so great during game time, it would be advisable to work on a mental and emotional training to help that player learn some skills to play just as well during the game.
If you are interested in improving your basketball mental game do not hesitate to contact LA Sport Psych to find out how we can help you in a process of achieving greatness.
Schedule your free consultation now!