One thing common among successful basketball players is confidence. Having faith in your capabilities is one step towards making a difference in your performance.
Confidence is essential, especially when you face challenges.
Being confident means controlling and overcoming your negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and self-doubt.
Vital Steps to Boost Your Confidence
Know your Strengths and Weaknesses
Confident people are the ones who are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. So, this is the first step you need to take. Assess what skills you are capable of doing great and which are the skills you’re not that good at. List them down and concentrate on how you can work on your weaknesses. Everyone starts from somewhere, and don’t get dismayed by your gaps. Instead, invest in time learning how to alter it. If you have problems with your shooting skills, you can do drills that can improve the way you handle the ball. Do it as much as you can, and after some time, you’ll feel more confident shooting hoops. Highlight your strengths and do some training to maintain or improve your skills.
Have a Confident Body Language
How we carry ourselves will have a significant impact on how people perceive us. Keep your head up! It’s rare to see professional athletes who walk with their heads down. If you start projecting confidence by tweaking your body language, it will radiate and show your strength. This then will affect your performance. Show your energetic side. Smile often and relax. Stand tall, keep your shoulders straight and look people directly in the eyes when communicating. Not only will this make others feel comfortable around you, but it also shows your determination and focus. Do this in and out of the court, and you’ll notice a big difference in your confidence.
Take Criticism Openly
Handle negative feedback or constructive criticism like a champ. No one can’t deny it may affect you negatively; you’ll feel hurt, sad, defensive, and sometimes even angry at yourself. But think about it, without hearing these words, you won’t realize where you need to improve. Instead of centralizing the negative, listen to what they have to say and understand what made them have that feedback. Take a step back, ask questions and acknowledge it from their point of view. Most criticize, especially coaches, because they want you to be better. Accept your mistake and take the necessary steps to make it right. Keep in mind that these constructive criticisms are tools for improvement, helping you reach your full potential. Learn from it. Don’t let negative feedback take away your drive and passion for basketball. In time you will realize that you take the initiative to assess yourself even before others give you feedback.
Assess and Measure your Goals
One strategy to keep your confidence level high is to track and measure your progress. First and foremost, it’s good to jot down your goals on a logbook. From this, you will write down the specifics on how you will achieve your goals, such as the training schedule and what drills you need to do. Keep in mind that your goals must be measurable and specific. Seeing how you are checking your goals one by one keeps you committed and driven. Compare how you’ve done over the years, months, or weeks and see how far you’ve come. Remember, all small achievements are worth celebrating because you are better compared to who you were yesterday.
Be Mentally Tough
Have that winning attitude and be mentally tough. Don’t think of the perfect storm which will result in self-doubt, fear, and failure. Like any other sport, basketball comes with pressure, and to be able to adapt to dynamic situations, you must have strong unbroken confidence. With habit and training, our minds are more powerful than it seems to be. Like they say, mind over matter. So, when we feel weak, tired, and defeated, we can continuously play with a positive mindset at an incredible pace. To be mentally tough, start by doing some breathing exercise, reading inspiring stories from professional basketball players, and dwell on the positive things that happened, not on the negative ones, and trying to visualize what you want to achieve.
Use Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are positive mantras or phrases you repeat to yourself daily, which in time eliminates negative and unhealthy thoughts. Through affirmations, you are training yourself to visualize the success you want to achieve, paving the way for more apparent ways to accomplish these goals. This gives you a boost of confidence, motivation, and encouragement. Changing your vocabulary from negative to positive helps you overcome self-doubt. Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I can.” Here are some affirmations you can start saying in front of the mirror.
1. I have great stamina. I can endure training to become the best player I can be.
2. My aim is accurate. I am a powerful shooter. I will score more points today.
3. I am driven to become a successful basketball player.
4. I will practice harder to win in life.
5. I am improving every day. I have what it takes to become a good player.
Just Keep on Training
A big chunk of a basketball player’s day goes to training. Through ample practice, you will gain confidence. As you work on your skills, your confidence develops. The longer and harder you practice doing a skill, the more you become better at it. As you invest time training day in and out, you’ll see that you have more incredible speed, endurance, and power. Apart from that, you have that awareness of the improvements you need to work on. It may not be easy, but “No pain, no gain,” right? This sets you apart from other players. If you know you’ve practiced hard and put work into your skills, you have that confidence to play basketball better than others.
Developing confidence does take time. Take baby steps and do it day by day. Do all the key steps that I gave you, and it will provide you with a better perspective on how to handle challenges in your basketball career. Just keep your focus on playing, doing it by heart, and your confidence will grow naturally as you become a better player. It all starts within you.