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Being an unshakable basketball player means that the points on the score board don’t discourage you, mistakes energize and inform you, and difficulties make you stronger. 

Here’s how to become that kind of player:

Mental toughness is a choice. Every thought isn’t a good thought. Just like you would not eat poisonous things, you should not let every thought into your mind. Learn to control what you think about. If you find you can’t control what you think about, get a mentor to help you build up stronger mental muscle. Change the way you speak. Words are power. Speak aloud these words before games and get in a habit of willing yourself to speak and think this way:

  • I am ready to learn.

  • I am brave enough to overcome this challenge.

  • I can’t be shaken.

  • My worth isn’t in basketball. God has a plan for my life and this difficulty can’t take that away.

  • I learn quickly from my mistakes and become stronger from them.

Build your basketball foundation on solid fundamentals not on your feelings. Feelings are a faulty foundation, skills don’t lie. Do your work, put in the time and you can feel confident no matter what challenge you face. Be flexible mentally to receive feedback and coaching. Many students are too closed in their learning mindset because their confidence is too fragile. If you have unshakable belief that your dreams are not in jeopardy, you can hear feedback without being shattered, and in fact you will welcome it.

Coaches opinions are very important but coaches are not to be positioned as a god in your life. Listen and be ready to understand and apply what a coach is trying to help you improve. If a coach begins to foreclose on your future and your talent, don’t listen. No one really fully understands talent.  The job of the coach is to help move you to become better, not rob you of your potential.  Here are some examples of advice that may be tough to hear, but that a quality unshakable player receives and does not reject.

“Your shot will be more accurate if you align your elbow.  You need to be more aggressive on defense and dictate where your opponent catches the ball. You need to block out and secure the ball. You need to get in the weight room and get stronger. Your footspeed is too slow, you need to improve your speed.”

You should reject any comments which are personally degrading to you, or that involve skills that cannot be improved, or that foreclose on or negate your ability to improve.

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