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Youth Basketball Tips: Mental Game Training

Youth Basketball Tips:  Mental Game Training

How does being perfect cause you to lose??? John, a 13-year-old basketball player, had
been playing basketball, since he was 8 years old and absolutely loved the sport. His coaches commented on how hard he always
worked to improve his game and how he was an inspiration to his teammates. However, John has not been getting as much
playing time lately as he used to. He still worked as hard as ever to fine tune
his shot and advance his ball handling skills, but not getting “played” had affected his
mood on and off the court. His mom has noticed he was more grumpy and
less patient with his little sister. John asked his coaches what he needed to do
to get more playing time. They told him he looked timid out there on
the court and that he needed to get more aggressive. This made John feel frustrated and stuck. He asked his Dad how he suggested he o I get
more aggressive. His Dad recommended what worked for him, to
carry himself with a certain confident “swagger”, which made him more confident on the court
and therefore more aggressive. This advise actually confused John even more,
because he did not remember acting like that when he was star of the team a year ago. It just seemed like everything came naturally
to him. What John is not realizing is that his problems
began, when started to adopt a “perfectionist” mindset. Somewhere between being the starter and leading
the team in scoring and today’s troubles, John taught himself he had to be perfect. …and this mindset eventually starting affecting
his game. As a mental trainer, I hear the word “perfectionist”
used by some people as a sort of “badge of honor” they feel proud of. Unfortunately though as you see with John,
trying to be “perfect” causes all sorts of problems. The problems show up, when the perfectionists
fail to achieve perfection and then they beat themselves up for it. They start by over-analyzing the game, picking
apart their mistakes and thinking a bunch of negative thoughts about themselves. This leads to playing “scared”, because they
are in fear that they will make a “mistake”. A self-defeating, never-ending cycle is created. Think about it…can you ever achieve perfection
in anything? Are there any perfect players out there? In fact, in most sports, players make many
mistakes and still win. In baseball, getting 3 out 10 hits is a success. In basketball, most pros only make 50% of
the shots they take. Are you getting the picture? In every sport, we expect to make more mistakes
than do things “just right”. Failures are acceptable and you can still
win! If you are a perfectionist, you are expecting
something that is impossible and setting yourself up for repeated failure! It is a formula for mental weakness. Thinking you need to be perfect puts you in
a state of constant fear of not getting it “right. It’s much better to set goals for yourself
that are achievable, but a bit of a stretch. There’s a subtle, but powerful difference
between these 2 thoughts. See if you can see the difference…
1. I’m a perfectionist and I must do everything
perfectly. 2. I strive for perfection, but I don’t have
to be perfect. Sentence 2 gets you where you want to go by
allowing you to be human, while still striving for continuous improvement. Sentence 1…well, that WAS John until he
came to see me.

64 thoughts on “Youth Basketball Tips: Mental Game Training”

  1. This same thing that happened to john happened to me..and ive never thought about it this way..thank you so much for opening my eyes.

  2. My pleasure – alot of times we all just need perspective. Thanks for taking the time to watch the video – any issues we can address for you?

  3. my word dude i thought you were talking about me this whole video. this is exactly me. thank you a lot i hope this will help me

  4. thank you very much
    i was exacly like josh, and this video made me realize my problem
    beeing a perfectionnist on the court and overanilizing my game

  5. i need help on not being hesitant when theirs a defender in front of me or when i try and go in to the paint how can i fix that

  6. That hurts, but remember Michael Jordan did not make his high school team either. He took that summer to come back and the rest is history! Don't give up – that is one coaches opinion!

  7. Hey check out the video called "Get Over Your Fear In Sports" and let me know if it helps! Sorry they don't let you add links here, but search in our channel!

  8. We have a video that might help. Its called "Developing Trust Under Pressure For Better Sports Performance" I can't send you the link, but search in our channel. Let me know if it helps!

  9. This is an amazing tutorial, this is not like me but my friend is exactly like this and I am sure this will help hip. I see now why there are no dislikes 😀 Nice job and this video is "perfect"

  10. Thanks Coach. This is what I really need it this moment. My game went pretty good in the last month. I scored more than I used to be. However, in the last week, I notice my game went down pretty badly. I lost every game I play. Now that I think about it, I set a "perfectionist" bar for myself a week ago. It made me think about every negative thing on the court, I lost my focus. Now, I know how to deal with it. I strive for perfection, I also allow myself not to be perfect.

  11. Thx this did help me in a way but….
    (This is about basketball)
    I have been transferred   in positions on the team am in,
    From 6 min max a game….
    To some time 40 min a game….
    fron PG 
    to C
    i mostly have problem with the C position since my coach wants,and understandable, that i will go much more inside and will be more aggressive in that….
    the probblem is that I have  "shot first" mind set (I do have a good shot) and usually smaller from my defender if they (the opponent) play zone (as you see i do over think but its a part of the game) what should i do?….
    Thx and keep on the good work,Shai

  12. Dis is what m needing …I love the game love playing it but as soon as m getting in the game I become aggressive nd start getting hopeless ..and I know I can still play it more better ..thank you so much coach i will remember ure words

  13. THNKS,,, ABOUT the story,, i feekl john's pain ahahaha im suffering on it  too… like @Jeremy Lin  i my opinion… we always  afraid to make mistake bcuz  everyone is looking at us  and we are afraid to loss  time  tht might someday will cause us  unable to play in game ..  having less time  makes  me pressure myself and say i need to o good in every minute…   
    but i realize  i just need to be myself do good .. the more i think and hesistates makes me more unable player… hope my idol  read this  ^.^ goodluck to my game tonight

  14. Omg this is why I'm not doing anything on the offensive end thank you so much every time I bring the ball up court I pass right away and not taking it in the hole if I get a highlight play I can't finish I end up passing causing to thank you so much

  15. Great simple advice as i have always tried to be perfect and put pressure on myself to make the shot every time. My shooting as been down the last month as i am overthinking to much, and missing shot i should be making, its very hard to let it all go, but i tell myself its ok to miss sometimes and i am try visualisation shooting goals perfectly every time, any other tips? 

  16. Wow that has happened to me. Thanks a lot coach. I've got high schools tryouts coming up and it has gotten me into thinking I need to be perfect. Thanks!

  17. WOW, thanks! I use to think I had to be perfect and got scared to drive to the basket in game because I thought I would make a mistake! Thanks!

  18. this video really helped me and got me confident for my basketball game. I was thinking like a perfectionist and it was hard when i messed up.

  19. I'm one of the best players on my team I have the opportunity to make something big out of myself but I can't seem to get my mindset to transfer the stuff I do in my driveway practice gyms to the court during game time… Any suggestions

  20. Damn. You explained John exactly like how I feel. I used avarage 15 ppg and was the star of the team and in this season I juat want to do everything right and never fail. How should I think now?

  21. thats my problem and i need to fix it i see what other players do and i work harder and harder and i just wanna react that perfection so what do i do its on my mine and i cant take it off its to dam hard i just wanna make to perfection but this video help me alot thxs man

  22. Thanks for the tips. In games I find myself hesitant to call for the ball, i'll try to take this mindset into my next game..

  23. I'm one of the tallest 7th graders on my team and one of the best I'm a 5'7 guard / forward I can play the 1 2 3 4 , but my problem was that I was scared to drive and I would constantly get yelled at and I would get mad but watching this video helped me a lot

  24. I used to only average like 8 pts a game because I always was overthinking like if I missed my first shot I never took that shot again in the game but when you said that a basketball player shoots like 50% I was like dang I can do this my next game was a playoff game and I dropped 21 pts thank you sir🙏

  25. Hey man I see you’re still replying to comments so I need some help. I’m 13 like John but I feel like I pick apart my mistakes so much that I am very scared on the court. I don’t even want to get the ball anymore. I’m much more relaxed when I play with friends and idk what to do. When I get the ball I feel like I need to pass since I’m not good and sometimes it’s like I freeze and forget to dribble it’s really embarrassing

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