4 Ways to Improve Your Mental Game

  • Author:
    By Jeff Haefner,
  • Date:
    Jun 15, 2011

Want to shoot better? Then you might be surprised at how much of your game is mental.

For instance, if you imagine yourself missing shot after shot, how do you feel? Pretty lousy. And, chances are very high that you're going to do exactly what you imagined: you're going to miss shot after shot.

Then, your performance spirals downward because the more shots you miss, the worse you shoot.

So, let's look at how to improve your mental game with these basketball shooting tips that will help you shoot better.

Stop Thinking

Practice is the time to think about the mechanics of your shooting, not during a game.

When it comes to your games, don't think about your shot, and don't pick apart the mechanics of what you're doing. This will only trip you up.

Just shoot.

Stop Being Afraid of Failing

Did you know that even the pros miss their shots more than half the time?

Yep. More than half.

Stop being terrified of missing your shots. Everyone misses.

Fear causes anxiety. Anxiety causes you to tense up. And then you're going to miss even more shots.

So, relax. Realize that if your shooting game isn't on, you can still contribute to the team in other ways like basketball defense. It all comes out in the wash.

Focus On Your Zone

You've probably been in The Zone before, right? You know, when your shots seemed effortless, and playing was just plain fun.

When you're in The Zone you feel like you're flying. So, make an effort to get in The Zone for games. Focus on clearing your mind of clutter. Make a list of everything you need to do (school work, things at work, etc.) so you don't have to think about remembering it all during the game.

This will keep your mind focused on playing, and nothing else.

Relax

When your mind is relaxed, your body is relaxed, and when your body is relaxed, your shots are looser and more accurate.

So, make a real effort to relax before games.

How? Well, you can try meditation. Don't laugh; even the pros meditate before games.

To meditate, sit in a comfortable position in a quiet place. Close your eyes, relax your mind, and just focus on breathing in and out. That's it.

Do this for up to 20 minutes. Normally 10 minutes will be fine, but if you're getting really relaxed then keep at it!

Meditation can work wonders for your mindset before a game, so don't be afraid to try this technique.

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