Confidence is the most important mental factor in basketball. You can have all the ability in the world, but without confidence, you won’t be able to showcase it. The definition of confidence in sports, is the belief in yourself and your abilities to accomplish whatever task or goal you set for yourself.
If you look at all the great basketball players you see on TV such as Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kobe Byrant, they all were extremely confident in themselves and had every right to be. Once they stepped foot between those lines, they had no doubt in their mind that they were going to dominate that game and that’s exactly what they did.
You too can have access to this type of permanent confidence, but it just don’t happen overnight. It’s built up over time.
Read on below to learn how to build confidence in basketball and become that player you always dreamed of.
Confidence In Basketball
1. Practice Makes Confidence
This is the most obvious answer to improve your confidence is… Practice. You can’t expect to go out on the court and drop 30 points on your opponents if you rarely work on your game. The best basketball players in the world spends countless hours perfecting their craft, just to play a 48 minute basketball game.
It starts by consistently putting that extra time in working on your skills and turning your weaknesses into your strengths. For example, if you can’t shoot that well, spend some time after or before practice getting some extra shots up. You start seeing the ball go in more at practice, you’ll be more confident in your shot when it comes to game time.
This will help you relax and be confident in games because you know you did everything you could to prepare yourself.
2. See It To Believe It
Visualization is one of the most underrated mental techniques, but it’s an powerful confidence booster. With visualization you can create mental images of anything or doing whatever you want, including having success on the basketball court.
Over time, it builds confidence and experience in your abilities to perform on the court. So take 5 or 10 minutes out the day and visualize yourself having success on the basketball court. Whether it is making the game winning shot, dunking on someone, or just being dominant the whole game.
You’ll start having more success on the court and a major boost in your confidence as well.
3. The Power Of Affirmations
Affirmations is an positive word or short phrase you say to yourself whenever your feeling doubt or have an negative thought pattern.
Whenever your mind gets to thinking those self-defeating thoughts after you miss a shot or make a bad play, your affirmations can remind you to stay positive and confident. Also, affirmations can motivate you when you don’t feel like working out or give you that extra push to finish your workout when you tired.
So create as many affirmations that you want and that’s meaningful to you. You can have just one affirmation if you want, just as long as it works for you and stops those negative thoughts.
4. Remember Your Victories
We’ve all had games where it felt like we couldn’t miss or everything was going right for us. If you haven’t, you for sure made a good play before whether it was making a 3 pointer in a defenders face or dishing out that nice pass to a teammate for the easy layup.
Whatever it may be, recall on that good play or game and think about it often. Especially when your mind starts to replay all the bad plays you made in the game like air-balling the game winning shot or missing the easy layup. Just simply change your thought process to everything that went well for you in games whether it’s just one good play or an entire game.
This will help you see yourself and your abilities on the basketball court in more positive light.
5. Don’t Fear Failure
Basketball is a game of mistakes, your going to mess up. It’s normal. A lot of self-defeating thoughts and doubts originate from the fear of failure, so you just don’t even try. The thing is that you can’t have success on the basketball court without failure.
Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all-time, got cut from his high school varsity basketball team. He didn’t give up on the game, he used it as motivation to better his game. That’s why failures and mistakes are crucial to your development as an basketball player because they show you the things you need to work on.
So don’t look at failure as an bad thing, look at it as an opportunity for you to grow.
6. Think Positive
I know you’ve probably heard it a million times, but thinking positive can make all the difference in your game.
If you miss a shot and start thinking, “Dang, I can’t make nothing”, that is exactly what continues to happen. Now if we switch up your thinking after you miss a shot, “I know my next shot is going to be nothing but net”, your excited and looking forward to your next opportunity to shoot. Even if you miss, you know that your that much closer to making your next shot.
Keeping a positive mindset gives hope to the future, but if your negative, you’ve already counted yourself out.
The Bottom Line
You don’t get permanent confidence all at once, it’s built up over time. Continuing to work hard on your game and using these tips will surely put you on the right path to being a more confident basketball player. Also, their are a ton of great sports psychology books that teaches you how to be mentally tough and achieve peak performance in your sport. Check out the best sellers HERE*.
I hope you enjoy these tips on how to build confidence in basketball and that you share this article. Leave an comment below if you have any questions or if you want to share your own tips.