One of the problems some players face is the fear of losing in basketball games. For example, fear can root from failure of achieving success in the past, pressure from expectations or just facing the shame of losing. Whether you like it or not, losing is part of the game, but when the game is not yet decided, you have nothing to fear about losing.

Here are some tips I’ve put together:

[dropcap2]1[/dropcap2]Do not think of losing ahead of time. Never ever!
I guess this is the biggest problem of players who constantly have the fear of losing. They think about it even though the game has not yet started, or isn’t over. This should not be, because if you keep on doing this, you are giving too much of your attention to the thought of losing, rather than focusing your mind on the game. Don’t think of losing ahead of time and don’t surrender to the idea that you will fail. Instead, think about ways on how to put yourself in a situation to win the game.

[dropcap2]2[/dropcap2]Focus your mind on the game, not on the possible result of the game.
If you are letting your fear eat you up, then you are not mentally tough to surpass a highly competitive game. Mental toughness can help you draw your fear of losing and you should focus your full attention on the game. As long as there is still time in the shot clock, you will have your chance of winning. Keep your mind busy on thinking how to win the game, then you might not know that you are slowly detaching from the fear of losing.

[dropcap2]3[/dropcap2]Prepare yourself for hard competition.
You will be facing a lot of good athletes, no matter in which league you play. This is what makes the game so exciting, from my point of view. To compete you have to be prepared well. This means, you have to prepare mentally and physically during your practice sessions. Pump up yourself and remember how hard you’ve prepared to win. You will then be confident about getting yourself into the match.

Constant practice can help you master the required skills. Aside from the regular practice of your team, you can practice on your own by making use of your backyard or any near basketball court in your community. There is nothing to fear about if you know you are fully equipped to compete against other basketball teams.

[dropcap2]4[/dropcap2]Smile! Be optimistic.
The fear of losing alone is a sign of a pessimistic attitude. You will never ever succeed if you keep on negating things. Not in sports and not in real life! Negative people are constant worriers. They give way to their doubts causing them to hold back from the opportunity of being successful.
If you want to fight the fear of losing, keep a positive attitude. Do not be ruled by the thought of it. Be positive that you can win games through playing in the best way you can. Time and time again, I always emphasize that a positive attitude rejects impossibilities. There is always hope in succeeding with positive thinking.

[dropcap2]5[/dropcap2]Add value to your team.
Give valuable contributions to your team and keep yourself busy in providing additional support for your teammates. If you are good in offense, take the chance to shoot the ball. On the other hand, if you do best in defense, show your defensive skills and work your behind off to protect the opponents from scoring. These are just some ways wherein you can contribute to your team. Put your focus on helping the team succeed.

[dropcap2]6[/dropcap2]Display confidence in playing the game.
A player who fears to lose has no confidence of himself, and those around him as well. Be brave enough to face challenges. Build your self-confidence. Believe in yourself. Believe in what you can do. And also, keep on improving your game by working harder than others in practices. This will help you build a good level of self-confidence. Otherwise, if your opponent notices that you are afraid, or tense, in the game, he will use this against you in order to beat you in your own game.

[dropcap2]7[/dropcap2]Give all your best … all the time.
There is nothing to fear about when you know that you have done your best. In every basketball game, give it all you’ve got. Bring it on. Do not just play on the average, or the “average” level. Truly excel and be the best in what you do. Execute your best offensive and defensive plays. Everything else will follow and come into place if you did the best you can.

[dropcap2]8[/dropcap2]Relax before the game.
You might be too tense to be afraid of getting into the game. The best thing to do is to perform relaxation techniques. What are these techniques? These techniques will help you calm down, and help you think and focus on the game. This is what you can do: prior to the game, you can do deep breathing exercises. For a couple of minutes, take the time to be alone in a quiet place of the locker room. A very popular method to put yourself in “game mode” is to listen to relaxing music on your iPod. A lot of players do this when doing he warm-ups.

[dropcap2]9[/dropcap2] Ask the Dude above. Pray!
There are some things we cannot control. If you have too much fear of losing deep inside you, ask for divine intervention. Remember, God does not just bless those who ask him for help. He will surely see if you have the heart to go out and play and that you deserved to be rewarded. Don’t ask for it … earn it!

DON’T BE AFRAID! If you are passionate enough about playing basketball, you will find ways to overcome your fear. Great players play their heart out, not thinking of losing. They come to the court to play at their best in order to win. This is what they have been practicing hard for.

[info_box]Picture credit: AndersedinCreative Commons Attribution[/info_box]