For most of us, it is true that we are our own worst critic. With the pressure we add on ourselves, we also end up letting certain factors around us or our own mind games affect how we deal with things. It is natural to do this and almost everyone does this, but how do we cope with these pressured situations?

Basketball should be taken seriously, but not too serious that you can’t actually enjoy the sport anymore. If you are able to laugh, joke around, have fun/sense of humor, relax (from out of sport problem) but get serious when it’s necessary, then you have the perfect recipe for success. For some of you that are unsure how to have this balance, here are some tips to help guide you in the right direction.

Reduce the Pressure:

  1. Identify 3 factors that add pressure to your basketball game, academics, and life.
    1. ie. people; situations; thoughts; objects; environment; self; etc.
  2. Write down these pressure factors.
  3. Identify 3 coping strategies that will help you deal with the pressure.
    1. ie. Self-talk; deep breathing; visualization; imagery; music; humor; etc. 
  4. Write down these coping strategies to remind yourself how to deal with the pressure.

An example:

Pressure Factor: [thoughts before a game] “My coach always worries about what the other team does and it makes me not focus on my own game.”

Coping Strategy: “Worry about only myself and my teammates before, during, and after the game. I trained hard and I will out compete anyone that comes in my way. I will beat the team with my skill and show everyone that I am here to win. [chuckles] No one can stop a ninja right?”

Written by:

Sarah Grippi

Basketball Mindset