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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Basketball


Get in the Zone - Take Your Basketball Game to the Next Level

Patrick Chylinski

Basketball is part physical, and part mental. To really become the best player you can become takes not only physical ability and basketball skill, but also mental ability and skill.

The physical part of the game includes things like strength, quickness, jumping ability, hand-eye coordination, and stamina. The basketball skills part of the game includes things like shooting, passing, dribbling, defensive, and rebounding skills.

The mental, or thinking part of basketball includes things like confidence, court awareness, leadership, and focus or the ability to finish plays. By working on the mental part of your game, and improving these areas, you'll actually improve the physical and skill parts of your game.

Great basketball players have high levels of confidence. They take the court believing that they'll perform well, and be able to outplay the competition. Even if they miss a shot, make a bad pass, or have a situation that doesn't go their way, they still believe in themselves, and trust that in the long run, they'll end up on the winning side of things. This unwavering confidence is what carries them to winning games, and success in their careers.

This confidence in their game translates into confidence in the other areas of the game as well:

- Shooting: they have confidence that their shot will fall, even in pressure situations

- Ball handling: they know they can dribble effectively, even under intense pressure

- Defense: they feel confident that they can shut the opposition down at any time

- Rebounding: confident players trust they can dominate the defensive glass, and be a force on the offensive side as well

Playing at your best requires tons of practice. Establish your physical and basketball skills, then work on improving the mental part of your game as well. As you become more confident in your game, as you become better able to succeed in pressure situations, you'll see yourself getting closer and closer to reaching your potential as a player.

Patrick Chylinski is a former college and professional basketball player who now does private coaching in the Los Angeles area. Visit his basketball training website for more tips and training information. Also visit his basketball in the zone website for ways to improve the mental part of your game.

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