Start the game thinking that you are a good basketball player. Maybe you’re just starting out, or you’ve been playing for a while, but whatever your skills and experience, you can sometimes feel a sense of elusiveness, which turns into a lack of confidence. When you start to think you’re a great player, and you think you’re going to get a good game, this mental process will turn into a game of basketball – and you should play better for it!
Many professional athletes get used to the things they do before a competition. Some call it ritual or even routine. They realized what was best for them, not only physically but also mentally.
This could be things like eating good meals, listening to music, or multiple warm-ups before a competition. You may want to listen to your favorite music before the game. You may want to get to the game early to get into action – be it a previous game or an empty stadium. You may want to eat a particular meal for breakfast that day. In that case, switch to a routine to do this. This will help you feel less stressed before the basketball game because it feels like ‘just another day’.
Don’t take it too seriously
While you may really want to play well, you probably don’t want to make mistakes because you think they will have serious consequences. Thinking this way will make you more nervous and tense before the game because you focus too much on the mistakes you might make and the consequences. If you miss a shot, the opposing team can get the rebound and score.
But did you know? This is part of the game. Good players understand this, and don’t let it deter them. It’s helpful to focus on each game as it unfolds.
It sounds simple, but taking a deep breath before a competition, or when you’re feeling stressed, helps distribute oxygen throughout your body and has a calming effect. It can be part of your routine, but either way, you can try taking a deep breath when you’re nervous before a competition to try to get around these effects.
This is related to the trust point above, but if you focus on the negative parts of the game, or the bugs, it won’t play as it should. You are often preoccupied with thoughts like, “What if this happened?” or “What if I make a wrong pass?”. Mistakes are part of the game and everyone makes them. If you make a mistake, learn from it and move on to the next game.
I hope these tips will help you overcome any feelings of stress before you play a game of basketball.