Basketball may seem like a fun sport from the outside looking in, but there is more pressure to it than meets the eye. From the mental challenge that comes along with preparing and playing in a ball game, the fear of failure, and down to the emotional toll of competition, there is a lot at stake for every hooper out there. So, it should come as no surprise that anyone who steps foot on the court must know how to deal with pressure in basketball.
The question now is, how to handle it as effectively as possible? To cast light on this matter, here are several pointers that you can keep in mind and put into practice.
Unload the Weight: Ways on How to Deal with Pressure in Basketball
Even the most elite of defenders in the hoop landscape could not guard the pressure brought about by the game. Still, there is a conscious effort to handle it, culminating in steady and composed performances on the court. How do the countless athletes do it? Here are several ways.
Focus on the present
When entering a basketball match, it is natural to worry about the outcome of the game. There is a common tendency among people to only think about what would happen if they succeed or fail, instead of concentrating their attention on the present. This behavior should not be tolerated as an athlete. The reason for this is because it is more than enough to put pressure on oneself, which can restrict yourself from being in your element and performing at an elite level.
To put it simply, learn to stay in the moment. No matter how high the odds are stacked against you, the only thing that should be in your mind before and during a match is to give an all-out effort on the court, letting your hard work lead you to the end goal.
Never slack in preparation
Ever came into a ball game without ample preparation beforehand? How did you feel at that time? You most likely have experienced cold sweats, butterflies in your stomach, and other signs of nervousness. Well, that is normal, considering that pressure is at an all-time high when you know for yourself that you did not prepare as much as you could.
To that end, make a point of going full throttle in practice, workout sessions and even scrimmages to best put you in a situation where pressure is tolerable and can be dealt with easily.
Have faith in yourself and overcome your fears!
Change your mindset about pressure
More often than not, all you need is a change in mindset. Yes, never allow yourself to look at the pressure in a negative light. Make it a point to accept it, embrace it, and use it as a springboard that will propel you to new heights.
As to how the late, great Kobe Bryant once put it, “Everything negative — pressure, challenges — is all an opportunity for me to rise.”
Rise Above the Pressure
There is no doubt that you will find yourself in pressure-laden situations on and off the court as a hooper. But do remember that you should never falter over it and put faith in yourself that you can overcome it.