Confidence is sometimes very fickle and can exit out of the most confident of players during the times they need it the most, especially before a basketball game begins. You could be one of the best players in the team, but that nagging thought of you not having enough of time to perfect your jump shot could be killing you inwardly. You’re probably thinking in your head, “I don’t want the chance of a shot” and it goes on like a reel.
Unfortunately though you may never know what the game has in store unless you begin playing it. Carrying anxiety to the game will not help you and your teammates in the crucial parts of the game, you need to calm down, relax and regain your confidence.
Obviously the coach can help you out a great deal, by making the win less stressful for you, and asking you to give it your best shot instead. However you need to calm yourself down completely and regain confidence.
Some of the best NBA pro players of our times, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant often take time only for themselves before the game is about to begin. They use this time to calm themselves down and ensure that they get back their confidence before leaping, hooping and pacing the court. During your career, you would have also noticed that your game is much better when you are confident and most importantly believe in yourself. This is what the two great players have to say, “How you think affects how you play”.
Of course you need to practice well during training sessions, but even if you have you will still suffer from un-calm nerves before a match begins. Here are some metal skills that will help you as a player to calm yourself down.
Body and mind awareness: You need to be aware of yourself mentally and physically. Most often when we are nervous, our hands get sweaty or cold. There are other indicators as well like headaches because of all the stress manifestation, pacing the room and even shaking your legs. These are indicators that you are nervous and anxiety is hitting you. You need to take care of it by mentally making your self believe that “You are in control of yourself.”
Breathe!: Once you are aware of your anxiety and how it shows on your body you need to compose yourself. The best way is to calm yourself down with a few breathing exercises. The simplest is by taking in big shots of breath and then slowing releasing it, and then gradually lower it down to much slower breathing reps.
Positive Talk: You can talk positive to yourself, by repeating a few positive notes like “I can shoot a three pointer” etc. A psychologist once said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” By talking positively to yourself you will see a surge of confidence creep back into you.
Attitude: Lastly but not the least is to carry the right attitude, reply in positive to your coach and answer him saying that the team will win. This will help you gain a positive attitude and it will show in your game as well.