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					Mental Training in Basketball: The Driving Force in every Game

·     Most people would tend to perceive basketball as a purely physical
game. You can see that evidence everywhere: endless physical trainings
to bout any bodily weaknesses; energy drinks and foods that focus on
combating fatigue; clothes and shoes that give comfort during the game;
etcetera, etcetera.

·     Perhaps, to add further proof, we can add in the basketball
athletes’ way of delivering the game itself. They thrust and drive and
pivot and shoot—it’s all a perspiration-inducing game.

·     But beyond all the physicality of the game, it would be wise to
believe that mental preparation is also a necessity in this type of
sport. Mental training isn't just for chess or any sedentary mind game.
In fact, it is equally as important as physical trainings.

·     Now, you might be asking, how you will be able to incorporate
mental training or any psychological preparation into each of your game.
It’s definitely not easy. The basic attitudes are persistence,
perseverance and the will to finish any commitment. Just like physical
training, the required mental trainings ask for competitiveness and the
three attitudes just mentioned are essential.

·     0nce you are committed to do whatever it takes to gain the edge on
your game, here are the most common techniques that mind experts (that’s
psychologists to you) advise you to do:

1.    Relaxation of the mind—this includes exercises that are similar to
yoga exercises where you relax your mind inspite of the distractions.
The mind relaxation technique is voluntary and you should be able to calm
your mind even if the dog outside is barking or when your roommate has
just blasted on the TV. Concentration is the keyword in achieving this
technique. This means you should be able to control what you feel even
if you have just gone through a stressful day at the office.
2.    The Will to change Unpleasant Attitudes—this is a must. To be able
to incorporate new ways into your game, you should be willing to give up
your old ways. If there are many attitudes that get in the way of
gaining a better game, then you must get rid of them for the sake of
improvement. Anger management is on this list. If you are the type that
explodes at the smallest provocation, then it is high time to control
this negative attitude and gear it towards having a controlled temper.
If you are also the type that puts off routines and other necessary
trainings until you tend to cram when the game draws near, then it’s time
to discipline yourself.
3.    Control of Energy—you will be better able to direct your strength
towards the achievement of a better basketball game.
4.    Have a Can Do Attitude—visualize yourself scoring more than you
have ever done. If you believe in yourself and the power that your mind
is able to do, then you will start seeing results. Equipped with this
newfound attitude towards the game (and life in general) and constant
practice, then there is nowhere to go but up.
5.    There was an interesting study on stress management called the
Stress Inoculation training. In this training, the basketball athletes
were exposed to minimal, initial doses of stress until they gradually
underwent heightened introduction of stresses. This study wanted to
prove that immunity from stress might be achieved. Perhaps a good source
of ‘stress’ would be the rigors of basketball training itself. It’s
physically draining but in a good way.
6.    Attain a confident attitude—self-esteem is an integral part on any
basketball player’s game. Once he has the confidence, all other
techniques come easy.
7.    Love of the Game—work becomes work only if it stops being something
you enjoy. When an athlete starts to see the boring side of the game or
when he fails to ‘feel’ the game, then that’s where failure creeps in.
Shun basketball when you don't enjoy it—plain and simple.

·     There are so many techniques of basketball game improvement. But
if you have read carefully, you will notice that it all boils down to
one—you. When you know what you want and work hard to achieve it
physically, nutritionally and mentally, then you are on your way to
achieving success.

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