Basketball Mindset Strategies to Help You Become a Winner

I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan

Developing Your Basketball Mindset

You may very well have developed all the skills required to excel at the game of basketball. You may also have the physical strength, stamina, height, and athleticism to overwhelm your opponents, however, all of this is relatively insignificant if you have not taken the time to cultivate the essential basketball mindset that will allow you to take your game to yet another level. As a matter, a fact, the skills you develop on the basketball court and the mindset you project go hand-in-hand and work together in conjunction to develop your legend as a basketball player.

This IQ Matrix will specifically focus on the development of a resilient, disciplined and determined mindset that will set you apart from your Teammates and Opponents.

This article post is part of a Basketball Success Series of IQ Matrix Mind Maps. Topics within this series include:

Part 1: Basketball Shooting Skills
Part 2: Basketball Defensive Skills
Part 3: Basketball Dribbling Skills
Part 4: Basketball Passing Skills
Part 5: Basketball Offensive Skills
Part 6: Basketball Rebounding Skills
Part 7: Basketball Movement Tactics
Part 8: Basketball Post Play Skills
Part 9: Basketball Mindset Strategies

The Attitude of a Basketball Superstar

The 1st Branch of this IQ Matrix Mind Map breaks down the personal and team spirit you must cultivate in order to develop a Superstar attitude that will break down the obstacles standing in your way on the basketball court. We will specifically discuss the fundamental traits and characteristics that you must instill into your personality and briefly throw caution to the wind in other areas that you must effectively manage and control.

Your Personal Spirit

Your Personal Spirit will help you to excel as a basketball player whether practicing alone or within a team setting. It is highly recommended that you cultivate and develop each of the following qualities meticulously. Each one will help you to grow and develop emotionally, mentally and physically as a complete all-around player.

Believe in Self and Ability

You must believe in yourself and your abilities at all times. You will never be perfect, because if you were then there would be nothing to improve upon, and no growth to gain. Never doubt yourself in any capacity for even an instant.

Model Great Players

Great players have learned hard lessons that have brought them to the pinnacles of their careers as professional basketball athletes. Learn from their mistakes, learn from their movements, copy their fundamental skills, and most importantly model their mindset. It is after all their mindset that has kept them at such a high level of achievement over an extended period of time. Without it they would be nothing. Yet with it, the World is their Oyster.

Persist with Determination and Resilience

Persistence, Determination, and Resilience are possibly the most important and fundamental qualities of a Superstar basketball athlete. You can work as hard as you want on improving your basketball game. However, if you do not persist with determination and resilience to outlast others vying for the same goals as you then you will struggle to amount to anything of any significance.

Guard Your Emotions, Mind, and Thoughts

Without a question, there is no doubt that we are all very emotional beings. This is great when it is working for us, however, if our emotions begin to sabotage our progress towards our basketball goals and ambitions then they do become a major hurdle in our lives. This is why it is absolutely critical that you guard your emotions at all times. Do not let circumstances on or off the basketball court impact your game plan, do not allow your personal feelings to get in the way, and most importantly DO NOT allow other players, spectators, umpires or coaches to push your emotional buttons. You are always in charge of your emotions and mind – don’t ever forget that!

Cultivate Alertness

Playing the game of basketball at your peak level requires a certain amount of focus, awareness, alertness, and concentration. Sometimes it is very easy to allow our minds to drift onto other matters. However, if you seek to become an outstanding player than you MUST get out of the habit of allowing your thoughts to scatter. The key is to stay focused and be alert at all times to everything that is going on around you at every moment, on the basketball court and off it.

Cultivate Confidence NOT Cockiness

Every great player has a certain amount of confidence about their game. It is after all this confidence that helps them to take their games to even higher levels of achievement. On the other hand, some players mistaken Cockiness, Vanity or Arrogance as a sign of being confident. Mark my words, these are not signs of confidence. Instead, they are simply signs of a hidden low self-esteem, insecurity and emotional instability. Arrogance could also be a sign of fear that is brought about by feelings of inadequacy. In such instances, players show their arrogance in order to hide their self-sabotaging and limiting emotions from others.

Confidence, on the other hand, is simply a feeling of certainty that you have about yourself and your ability. It is displayed in the way you move, talk, walk and play the game of basketball. On top of this your confidence shines through in how you play the game, and not what you say on the basketball court.

Cultivate Poise Under Pressure

When things are going well, it is very easy to feel under control and confident in your personal abilities out there on the basketball court. However, it is when things start to get somewhat out of control that cracks begin to open up and players become emotionally erratic on the basketball court. Their decision making starts to wain, their skills go out the door, and their mind begins to panic. Feeling incapable of dealing with circumstances, they simply crash emotionally and physically.

Conversely, it is the Great Players who remain poised under pressure circumstances. In fact, the more pressure, the more poise they display and the more effective they are on the basketball court.

Cultivate Ambition to Improve and Excel

Unless you are growing as a player on a daily basis then you are simply stagnating and falling behind those who are working constantly on improving their basketball skills and mindset. You must cultivate the quality of ambition to improve and excel as a basketball player at every moment on the court. Learn from your mistakes, take chances to step outside of your comfort zone, and grow as a basketball player on all levels.

Cultivate Solutions NOT Problems

When things are not going well on the basketball court, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the problems and obstacles standing in your way. However, thinking about your problems won’t make them go away. Instead, you must work on cultivating solutions on the basketball court. Whenever you are facing a challenge, ask yourself better questions that will help you to find creative solutions that will likewise assist you and your team to gain the upper-hand at the end of the game.

This is of course all about trial and error. However, you will eventually learn from your mistakes and the answers will be revealed in time, as long as you focus on the solutions to the problems and not the problems themselves.

Cultivate Patience

You must be patient with yourself, with your team, with the game, and with your understanding about the game of basketball. Learning new skills and basketball tactics takes time. However, with a lot of patience and discipline, you will progressively take your understanding of the game and your skill level to yet another level.

Cultivate Discipline

Discipline goes hand-in-hand with the quality of Patience. You need to be disciplined to stick to a basketball workout regime, to practice consistently and persistently, and to learn diligently from others.

Cultivate Decisiveness

There is no room for second-guessing your tactics or decisions on the basketball court. The moment you hesitate is the moment you will be “schooled” by your Opponent. This is why it is absolutely critical that you cultivate the quality of Decisiveness deep into your psyche. It is like Yoda said, “Do or Not Do. There is no Try”.

Be decisive and get the job done on the basketball court. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes as long as you take time to learn from them and therefore change your tactics the next time around.

Cultivate Courage

Basketball is a game of courage. The more courage and heart you have on the basketball court than the more valuable you will be to your team. When courage is activated, then it simply does not matter how much skill (or lack of it) you have as a basketball player. Your courage alone will be the defining quality that will win the hearts of fans and the respect of your teammates.

Display courage on the basketball court by hustling for loose balls, by rebounding and knocking your body into bigger players, and by pushing your limits each and every time you step out onto the wooden surface.

Set Goals Regularly

Great basketball players are goal oriented individuals. They take time regularly to set daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and long-term goals that will progressively help them take their game to another level of achievement.

Goals help to align your thoughts, body, and emotions in the direction of what you want most. Hence, it is important to set achievable goals for different aspects that you would like to improve on, learn and master about the game of basketball.

How to Become a Basketball Superstar

Your Team Spirit

Your Team Spirit will help you excel as a basketball player in a team environment. It is highly recommended that you cultivate and develop each of the following qualities meticulously. Each one will help you to grow and develop a close unbreakable bond with your Teammates, Coach and Club.

Believe in Your Coach and Teammates

When we are “believed in” by others, an incredible force begins to move us to even higher levels of success. This is why it is absolutely critical that you openly support your Teammates and Coach at all times. A little belief in another person can go a very long way. And the funny thing is, that this “Belief” you project to others will usually boomerang back in your direction. And that can only be great for your team spirit and moral.

Cultivate Friendship

We enjoy playing most with close friends and people we know well and respect from the bottom of our hearts. If you are not friends with everyone on your team, then take the time this week to get to know them a little more. Ask them questions about their life, about their family, about their interests and hobbies. The more you get to know a person, the more things in common you will find, and this can only help to bring the both of you closer together.

Cultivate Dedication

Dedicate your time, effort and energy to your team by showing up to training sessions, by staying back after training to work on your game, by helping Teammates who are struggling with certain aspects of their game, and by taking the time to really create great team chemistry and unity throughout.

Cultivate Cooperation

When the entire team is working together for one goal, purpose and vision, a magical thing happens. It is known as “synergy”. When “synergy” occurs, everyone feels as though they are part of a large canvas that only comes into full view when the entire team is working and cooperating together to achieve these goals and visions that have been outlined. Cooperation is after all the glue that will keep your team together no matter how many obstacles are standing in your way. And this cooperation must begin with you.

Cultivate Enthusiasm

When you are enthusiastic and passionate about the game of basketball, about your team, coach, tactics, yourself and about the season, then at that very moment a wave of energy passes through the team that helps raise everyone’s game to yet another level of skill and achievement.

As much as basketball is a physical game, it is also very much a mental game. And this passionate and enthusiastic attitude you project will certainly provide your entire team with the fuel they need to keep going even when the outlook doesn’t look so rosy.

Cultivate Loyalty

For a moment, bring to mind an image of a Dog, and put yourself into its paws. Aren’t they usually the most loyal creatures? No matter what you do to them, how much you scold them for ripping up your homework, they will always be loyal to you and will love you all the same. It is exactly this kind of loyalty that you must bring forth and cultivate into your daily interactions with your basketball team. And yet again, it all starts with you.

Cultivate a Willingness to Learn

When everything is said and done, if you simply do not have the passion or willingness to learn and better yourself as a basketball player and a team, then you might as well give up before you start. Life is all about learning, basketball is all about learning, and in many ways, basketball is all about LIFE. YES, that’s right, basketball is about life.

Did you know that how you play the game of basketball is exactly how you “currently” live out your life? If you react emotionally on the basketball court, then you most likely react emotionally in real life. If you hesitate and make poor decisions on the basketball court, then that is also a reflection of your life.

Conversely, if you are calm and collected on the basketball court, no matter what is going on around you, then this is a good indication of how you live your life when put under pressure. This is why it is so very important to have a willingness to learn from your experiences on the court to help better yourself, not only as a player but also as a human being for the rest of your life.

Beware of the Following…

Becoming a Great Player isn’t always about what you do. In fact, it is usually about what you DON’T Do! Here are some traps you should be wary of when playing the game of life… sorry I meant to say “the game of basketball” 🙂

Beware of Making Excuses

Excuses only breed more excuses, that breed even more excuses in an unending cycle that never seems to subside. When you step out onto the basketball court, throw your excuses out the door. No one cares that you are not shooting well today, that the Umpires are not giving you a break, or a myriad of other possible excuses you could make.

Excuses are for losers. No one likes to hear them, except for the person making them. Breed this self-sabotaging habit out of your game immediately. If you don’t, then it will eat you alive and sabotage your growth as a basketball player.

Beware of Reacting Emotionally

Always stay in control of your emotions no matter what happens on or off the basketball court. When you react emotionally you effectively lose your intellect. And when your intellect gets kicked out the door, then your decision making begins to fail, and you begin to fall down a spiral that spins your head and emotions in an uncontrollable manner right down to the bottom of the pit.

Beware of Blaming Teammates for Losses

At the end of the day, it’s the result that counts. What happened in between is a team effort, and therefore it is the Team as a whole that must take responsibility for the outcome. Do not point that index finger at your Teammates, because the moment you do is the moment 3 other fingers are pointing right back at you.

Babies do not learn to walk after one try, birds do not learn to fly after flapping their wings for the first time. And your team will not play at their highest levels every time you step out there on the basketball court. It is all about trial and error, learning from mistakes and moving forward.

Beware of Fearing to Make Mistakes

Basketball is a game of mistakes. As a matter a fact, life is all about making mistakes. When we make mistakes we learn, we grow, and we improve our efforts the next time around. You must take this frame of mind into every basketball game, and as a consequence grow yourself physically, emotionally and mentally as a solid and intelligent basketball player.

Mindset for Training

The 2nd Branch of this IQ Matrix Mind Map delves into the mindset you must bring forth into your daily training regime on and off the basketball court. We specifically discuss what you must do during and after your training sessions in order to develop yourself into a solid, committed and disciplined basketball player.

During Training

Basketball training is an important component of a basketball player’s weekly regime. It helps to build fundamental skills and is utilized as a tool for correcting mistakes that were made throughout the game.

The following presents you with a set of actions, guidelines, and qualities you should bring to every training session:

Show Commitment

Whenever you would like to excel at something, you need to cultivate an unshakable commitment. When it comes to your basketball training sessions, you can show your commitment in the following 4 ways:

Be Punctual

Come to training on time, all the time. In fact, come to training earlier before your Coach and Teammates arrive. Now that shows true commitment on your part.

Be Last to Leave

Be the last to leave training every week. Spend this time to shoot a few extra baskets, to chat with your Coach, or to simply work on improving your level of skill, stamina or proficiency.

Be First to Participate in Drills & Activities

Be the first to take the chance and participate in drills and activities. When we participate we learn more than if we were to just watch from the sidelines. Do not be afraid of making mistakes. Just go out there and be the first to take a chance on yourself.

Ask Intelligent Questions

When you ask intelligent questions that throw in new ideas, or expand the Coach’s strategy, tactics and drills – at that moment you will be displaying to others that you are paying attention and that you care about the success of your team.

Participating in Drills

Drills are a fundamental aspect of basketball that teaches players key skills while role-playing aspects of the game that need practice and attention. Here are a few guidelines that will help you to get the most out of the drills and activities your Coach runs during your training sessions:

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

“Training” is defined as: “the process of bringing a person to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction”.

Your training time is a time to practice your skills so that you can become a more effective and efficient player during your basketball games. If you hold back and don’t step out of your comfort zone when you are training and running drills, then you will likewise struggle to grow as a player and will play with less confidence throughout a basketball game.

It is your training time. Are you going to make the most use of it? Or are you just going to stand around and wish you could get better?

Train at Game Speed

Unless you physically and emotionally simulate a “game situation” throughout your training sessions, then you will simply struggle to bring the required physical and emotional intensity into your Games. You must, therefore, get into the habit of training at Game Speed, running all your drills at Game Speed, and partaking in every exercise at Game Speed.

Train with 100% Commitment & Determination

Commit to your training sessions as though you are preparing for the biggest game of the season. This very commitment and determination you bring forth into these training sessions will do you great justice when it comes to Game Day.

Ask for Help

Unless you ask a question, how will anyone know that you need help? Your lack of curiosity may indeed be seen as a lack of commitment or interest in the game of basketball. This, in turn, will sabotage your ability to grow and improve as a basketball player on a weekly basis. After all, it is those who ask the right kinds of questions who end up knowing all the answers. Therefore don’t be shy, and ask for help from your Coach and Teammates to improve your Basketball IQ, skill level, and fundamentals.

After Training

If you are serious about improving yourself as a basketball player, then your training never ends. Here are some guidelines that will help you to gain the most out of your training regime outside of your team training schedule:

Practice Your Basketball Skills

If you seek to improve your basketball game than you need to practice each and every day. After your team training session or when school closes, step out onto the driveway and practice the fundamental skills and moves that will help turn you into an absolutely astounding basketball player. Even while watching TV, start multi-tasking by picking up a basketball and tapping it as quickly as you can from hand-to-hand. This particular exercise is so simple, yet it will help you improve your ball-handling skills dramatically over several weeks of consistent practice. This is just one example of many you could use.

Visualize Yourself Playing Basketball

Studies have shown time and again that making use of simple visualization strategies can help you to improve your skills as a basketball player.

A study by Dr. Blaslotto at the University of Chicago was conducted where he split his participants into three groups and tested each group on how many free throws they could shoot with accuracy. He had the 1st Group practice shooting free throws every day for an hour. He had the 2nd Group just visualize themselves shooting free throws for an hour every day. And the 3rd Group did nothing over this period of time.

After 30 days, he tested them again. The 1st Group who practiced shooting free-throws every day for an hour improved their free-throw shooting by 24%. The 3rd Group who didn’t practice at all showed no improvement. Finally, the 2nd Group who just visualized shooting free-throws for an hour each day improved by 23% without touching a basketball.

Isn’t that just Amazing?

You must therefore practice daily visualizing in your mind shooting, dribbling and passing the ball with all your senses – seeing the sights, smelling the air, feeling the ball on your fingertips, tasting your sweat sliding off your top lip onto your tongue, and hearing the sounds of the stadium rise as one while you are shooting a last-second shot to win the game.

It won’t hurt you to try, will it? However, the key is to be consistent, disciplined and focused for several weeks before you begin seeing some good improvement.

Flex Your Mental Muscle

Work on methods and tactics that will help you to build mental toughness and resilience you can utilize throughout a basketball game. This can be achieved by projecting what you do on the basketball court into every activity you partake in during your normal day.

Stay Physically Fit and Active

Basketball is a game that requires endurance, athleticism, agility, and strength. However, you will not develop these abilities to their full extent by just playing on the basketball court. You must instead develop these abilities through other that are discussed below:

Increase Your Physical Capacity

Flexibility: Will help you to move more freely and with more agility on the basketball court. You can develop your flexibility by stretching, partaking in Yoga, Pilate’s and other related activities.

Strength: Will assist you to stand your ground against your Opponents and help you to take hard hits with less chance of injury. You can develop your strength by lifting weights, climbing stairs and partaking in physical manual work that requires muscle.

Endurance: Will help you to keep moving at a high energy level during the dying moments of the game when others are falling off their feet in exhaustion. You can develop endurance through physical activity such as swimming, cycling, jogging, and skipping. It is recommended that you partake in a variety of these activities throughout your day. Each one will develop your conditioning to a different level, thus making you a complete “endurance athlete”.

Athleticism: Will help you to jump higher, rebound more effectively and rise above your Opponents when going in for a layup or taking a shot. You can develop athleticism by stair climbing, skipping and stretching. Did you know that the more flexible you are, the more capacity you have to develop your athletic ability?

Speed: Will help you to react quickly on the defensive end of the floor, to pick off passes, and to run ahead of your Opponents on the Fast Break. You can develop speed by strengthening your legs, correcting your running technique, and by practicing sprints on the athletics track. Also, practice quick sharp movements that help you to change direction rapidly.

The Mindset for Basketball Training Sessions

Mindset for Game Day

The 3rd Branch of this IQ Matrix Mind Map presents you with several techniques and strategies you can utilize on Game Day in order to bring about clarity, focus and a killer instinct that will help you to excel on the basketball court. We specifically discuss several habits you must instill pre-game, during the game and post-game, that will help you to become a more effective and efficient player.

Your “Pre-Game” Routine

Before you step out onto the basketball court it is critical that you get into the right frame of mind that will help you relax and mentally prepare for the upcoming game. Here are some guidelines that will set you on the right track:

Listen to Inspiring Music

Music has a wonderful effect on our body’s cells and emotions. When we listen to uplifting and inspiring music we naturally feel more energetic, focused and lively. For some players, this could be upbeat music, while for other players it could be more mellow music that relaxes the body and mind. However, no matter what kind of music is to your liking, it is worthwhile to take time to prepare your body and mind by listening to a little inspiration before the game.

Visualize Yourself Playing Basketball

As you are listening to your inspirational music, take time to visualize yourself hitting your shots and playing the entire game out in your minds-eye before physically stepping out onto the basketball court. We have already discussed how important and powerful the visualization process can be. And now is the perfect moment to utilize it to its full effect.

Stretch Correctly

Take time to stretch your legs, chest, neck, back, arms, shoulders, and hands in order to loosen your body before stepping out onto the basketball court.

Warm Up at Game Speed Progressively

We have already discussed how important it is to Train at Game Speed. Now, before the game, this is even more critical because the frame of mind you bring into your Warm-ups will reflect in the intensity you display in the opening moments of your game. However, make sure to stretch appropriately beforehand, this will ensure your muscles are ready for “high impact” movement.

Your “In Game” Routine

The game of basketball is made up of many layers that are important to keep in mind as you step out onto the court. This is especially true if you seek to play to your highest potential at all times.

There are a lot of things we could effectively discuss here, however, that would probably be rather overwhelming and confusing for most players. I have therefore pieced together only the most important key components of the game of basketball that you MUST keep at the forefront of your mind from the moment you step out onto the basketball court, till the moment you hear the buzzer sound for the end of the game. These are in fact key components of the game that all Basketball Coaches expect each and every one of their players to master. So it is in your interest to go out there and give it your very best effort.

Here they are in random order:

Communicate Vocally with Enthusiasm

Communication is of critical importance on the basketball court. You should be communicating both on the defensive as well as the offensive end of the floor. However, don’t communicate and shout just to create noise. Instead, ensure that you communicate with purpose by vocally supporting and empowering your Teammates and Coach with motivating words and inspiring emotional outbursts.

Also, communicate on the defensive and offensive end of the floor by giving your Teammates another pair of eyes at the back of their heads. And finally, when you are resting on the bench, stand up, cheer and support your Teammates with all your mite.

Box-Out and Rebound Aggressively

As soon as a shot is released on the offensive or defensive end of the floor be sure to get into the Key area and Box-Out your Opponents aggressively. Once you have Boxed-Out, move in with commitment and determination to pull down the rebound for your team.

Share the Ball with Teammates

Nobody likes playing with a HOG who doesn’t share the ball with their Teammates. Basketball is all about the team game. You will become more effective and efficient on the basketball court when you learn to share the ball around with your Teammates. Your Teammates will not only appreciate you passing the ball to them, they will also gain confidence in their own ability, and this can only help to better your chances of winning the game.

Play Defense with Intensity

Master the fundamentals on how to play effective and solid defense. Your shooting will have a tendency to let you down at times, however, your defensive intensity should never fail you no matter how ineffective you are on the offensive end of the floor.

Hustle Aggressively for Loose Balls

Coaches absolutely love players who fight and hustle aggressively for the basketball, doing whatever it takes to win the ball for their team. This is a sign of a committed and determined player who is respected and admired by their Teammates and fans.

Avoid Turning the Ball Over

Basketball is a game that is all about minimizing mistakes. By all means, it’s perfectly okay to make mistakes on the basketball court. However, we must learn from them immediately so that we minimize the long-term impact they could have on the game. That is of course how we grow as a player and improve our skills in the long-run.

Keeping all of this in mind, be sure to look after the ball, passing with precision and care to your Teammates and not dribbling unnecessarily when a quick pass is the better option to take.

Question Your Personal Weaknesses and Strengths

Throughout the game, it is important to continuously question your personal as well as your team’s weaknesses and strengths and then adapt your game tactics accordingly in order to maximize these strengths while minimizing the weaknesses. There are in essence a myriad of questions you could effectively ask yourself. However, here are just a few to get you started:

How can I best utilize my personal strengths throughout this game?

How can I best hide my personal weaknesses throughout this game?

What are my Teammate’s strengths in terms of passing, shooting, dribbling, rebounding, handling pressure, etc?

What are my Teammate’s weaknesses in terms of passing, shooting, dribbling, rebounding, handling pressure, etc?

How can I play to my Teammate’s strengths throughout this game?

How can I nullify my Teammate’s weaknesses throughout this game?

What must I do to get my Teammates more involved in the game?

Question Opponent’s Weaknesses and Strengths

In the same way, you questioned your personal and your team weaknesses and strengths, you must also ask similar questions about your Opponents. In this way, you will gain better insights about the way your Opponent’s play the game of basketball and can, as a result, adjust your game strategy and tactics to gain an advantage out on the basketball court. Here are a few questions to get you started:

What are my Opponent’s strengths?

What are my Opponent’s weaknesses?

How can we as a Team best exploit the other team’s weaknesses?

How can we as a Team best nullify the other team’s strengths?

Adapt Your Game Accordingly

By answering all the above questions, you should now have enough insight and understanding about yourself, your Team and your Opponent in order to adjust your game plan accordingly and improve your chances of winning. And if you don’t yet have the answers, then you simply have not yet asked the right kinds of questions.

The Mindset for Basketball Games

Your “Post Game” Routine

When the game has finished, most players either bask in the glory of victory or simply wilt in the sorrow of defeat. Even though winning a game is great for team spirit and morale, it is in other ways a very dangerous place to live. When we win, we celebrate and usually become complacent. However, when we lose, we contemplate, and this is what helps us to grow and develop ourselves as a quality basketball player.

Whether you won or lost, here are a few things you should reflect upon at the conclusion of each and every game you play:

Identify Learning Experiences

Every game, whether you won or lost, has within it the seeds of insight that will unlock hidden opportunities to help you grow and improve yourself as a basketball player.

Learn from Team Tactics and Strategy

Reflect on what worked well for you as a team, and what didn’t work so well when playing against certain defensive and offensive sets. Also determine during what periods of the game your team played at their highest intensity, and during what periods you struggled to get it together.

Learn from Personal Attitude Projected

Reflect on the personal attitude you projected throughout the game. Think about the thoughts that ran through your mind, the emotions that circulated through your heart, and the questions you persistently asked yourself. Where they focused on solutions or problems? Really think about things, and reflect. The more insight you gain into your personal emotions, thoughts, and questions, the better and more effective player you will become when you step out onto the basketball court for your next game.

Learn from “In Game” Mistakes

Reflect for a moment on the missed shots, defensive lapses, bad passes, other turnovers, etc, you committed throughout the game. Why did these mistakes occur? And how can you ensure that they will not reoccur during your next game? Really think about it and reflect. Sometimes the most obvious answers are not the right answers you are looking for. And at other time it is the most obvious answers that will bring you the greatest insights.

Finally, reflect on the wonderful things you did throughout the game. Think about the clever shots you hit, the great passes you made to your Teammates, the super defensive stops you instigated, etc. It was all your doing. How did you do this? Can you do it all over again during your next outing on the basketball court? Really think about it and reflect.

Ask Questions to Improve Your Game

Finally, here are 3 critical questions you should be asking yourself at the end of each game that will help with the reflection exercises we discussed above:

What could I have done differently?

What have I learned from my mistakes?

How have I grown as a player?


Concluding Thoughts

In a lot of ways, basketball is a game of “mind over matter”. No matter how much strength, height, stamina, athleticism or natural ability you have, it will all be quite ineffective if you don’t have the mental toughness, intelligence and resilience to get through the obstacles and challenges that you will no doubt need to deal with both on and off the basketball court. After all, you are only as strong as the mental muscle you flex.

Time to Assimilate these Concepts

Basketball Mindset Strategies

Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂

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