Gaining the competitive edge in basketball is all about developing resilience, and mental toughness. Your basketball skills on the court are only as good as your attitude. The testament of a true champion is how they deal with their mistakes.
A major contributor to the success of basketball greats Larry Bird and Michael Jordan was their ability to bounce back from a missed shot or failure, acknowledge criticism and get their mind back in the game. Being able to separate mistakes from your self-confidence and self-worth to develop resilience is exceptionally important. Fear of failure hinders any athlete and can cripple your play. Improving your mental toughness can help you learn how to block out distractions, manage competitive stress, maintain a positive attitude, develop confidence and handle hardships.
Another key element of getting a competitive edge in your game is to have self-discipline to maintain good training and playing habits. It’s important to be able to take on coaching advice to continue developing your skill set and stay motivated to not lapse back into bad techniques.
Here are a few simple steps to help you build your competitive edge:
- Build your resilience – your ability to bounce back after a missed shot or push through your exhaustion is exceptionally important! Don’t let your mistake ruin the rest of the game.
- Don’t get hung up on the pressures of the game and trying too hard. Trust yourself, believe in your abilities and let the game come naturally.
- Junior players should concentrate on fundamentals like lay ups, shooting and passing, as well as the basics of the game i.e. game rules
- More skilled players should focus on how to handle game time situations that may arise
- Build friendships with your teammates and coaches, make the commitment to uplifting every person on the team to help them succeed
Developing your mental toughness and resilience will help you gain the competitive edge you need to meet your full athletic potential and perform at your best level. Self-discipline is important to ensure you keep a cool head in high-pressure situations and will also ensure you stay motivated to keep up good playing habits and not fall back into old playing habits.