Improving Your Focus in Basketball: The Mental Game
Basketball is a physical game and a mental game. It demands all of you; if you’re not present for every second, it could cost you big. The mental side of basketball game is too often overlooked by players who think their physical skill and ability is enough. But it’s not – and focus in basketball can be the difference between cutting the mesh down at the end of the season or heading home.
It’s a lesson J.R. Smith learned the hard way: the buzzer sounds. The game's in overtime, King James is furious, and no off-balance threes, buzzer beaters, or and-ones from the dotted line are going to change that.
You want to know how to improve your mental game in basketball? Simple:
Focus on the Parts of the Basketball Game You Can Control.
The hard thing about improving the mental side of basketball is the pressure. There’s so much happening at once – the game, the crowd, the coach is yelling, the fans are yelling, the ball is flying. It’s so easy to start paying attention to the wrong things.
- Always remember that you’re playing a high-speed game of patience. You'll want to rush through things, but take your time. Let the game come to you. The focus in basketball games should be on things you can influence. Let your offense go through plays, and read the defense. Take a beat and remember to breathe. A calm mind will make better plays every time.
- Basketball is reactive. You’ve got a plan, you’ve got a goal, you’ve got a team – and then the whistle blows, the ball’s in the air and you need to rely on your gut. Mental basketball means trusting yourself and not second-guessing anything it’s too late to change.
- When you go with your gut, you’re going to get it wrong sometimes. Mental strength is crucial for how to improve your mental game in basketball. Remember this saying: shooters shoot. Research has recently shown that the Hot Hand Effect is real, but the trick is to stay focused and brush off that last miss. Keep shooting; focus on your mechanics and know that the next one is going in.
Focus in basketball is crucial, and it’s worth practicing! Physical basketball, mental basketball – it all comes together to make you a stronger player. Staying calm and poised helps you to keep your head in the game. Pay attention to your mind as you play, keep your head up – and you’ll find yourself suddenly playing stronger than ever before.