Tips for Psychological Growth
Basketball training works. When you’re dealing with a quality professional basketball trainer, you’re not dealing with someone who is just going to take your money because he has a decent playing or coaching resume. We can tell you stories for days of the players we’ve worked with and how they’ve achieved increased success back with their school or club teams. When we work with a player, we truly help them develop. But part of that development is, and must be, psychological. That means taking those new skills and concepts you’ve learned in training and implementing them back in your home basketball environment, where your reputation may be that of a lesser player. Players who improve must break through the mental hurdles of how they perceive themselves, and how others perceive them, to truly function as the players they’ve developed into via training. That being the case, here are some tips for psychological growth.
Personal Perception Tips
Get It In Writing. Your basketball trainer is probably already vocally recognizing and affirming your basketball development, but ask him to put it in writing. Ask your trainer to rate you on a scale in various areas and to give you a general scouting report. Seeing positive things about you written down can do wonders for the psyche, and it is something you can revisit often to give yourself a boost.
Challenge Players in Your Area. Challenging players in your area in pickup games, or in 1-on-1 games is a good way to test yourself and flex your muscle. Performing well against players in your normal playing environment will really build your confidence. In your head you may not be “better” than these players until you prove it to yourself by playing against them again.
Play Basketball Outside of Your Normal Area. If you’re not fully comfortable with challenging other good players in your area, take this step first. Go outside of your normal playing area to a place where nobody really knows you. You don’t have to go by yourself; you can go with a friend. Showcase your new skills in this pickup or rec league environment to really start feeling what it’s like to be an improved, more skilled and more aggressive player. Being around people who don’t have a previous perception of you will make it easier for them to accept you as the new player you are, and the acceptance here can help you accept your improved self as well.
Outside Perception Tips
Go On a Challenge Tour. Challenging players around you is good for your outside perception as well. Identify some of the key guys in your area – guys who are the leaders of the school team, the social leaders, and the good players who play your position and challenge them outside of the confines of team practice. If you can generate respect from key players by playing them hard or defeating them in a 1-on-1 or pickup setting, they will spread the word about your new status as an improved player.
Perform In Front Of Your Coach. If it’s tough for you to gain respect from players around you, make an effort to perform in front of your coach. This could be in a gym period at school, at an open gym session after school, or just shooting around when he is in the gym. If you can catch the coach’s eye and make him realize that you’ve improved, he can be one of the most powerful advocates you can have. Since coaches have power on teams, even if your teammates haven’t caught on yet, the coach can do things like change your position or run new plays for you, almost forcing your teammates and other observers to look at you differently.
These are just a couple of tips to help change the personal and outside perception of you as a basketball player. Don’t let your mental hold you back while you develop your skills and understanding of the game. Get with your trainer to aid you with the psychological process of becoming a better basketball player inside and out. We can’t to see you moving and playing like a brand new player.