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how do i gain confidence so i could preform betterin basketball games when i have no one to work with.

ive been having trouble preforming good in basketball games because i lack confidence and it hurts my preformence in game. how could i stop this so i do better mentally

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Jesse’s Answer

Hi Aevin,

To add a note on building confidence, I find it's also incredibly important on how we "talk" to ourselves when we're either performing at a level we want to be or if we're below that level. For example, if you just missed a shot, is your mental talk saying "I can't do this and I'm terrible" or are you telling yourself "darn, I missed that one but I'll make it up on defense this possession". For a lot of my friends and myself included, it's easy to be tough on ourselves and talk to ourselves in ways we wouldn't talk to others. For example, if a friend misses a shot, a lot of people would tend to encourage them to keep their head up and focus on the next one. We should talk to ourselves in that way as well. In addition to working on your craft in the court, it's important to consider what you are saying to yourself as that's going to affect your mental confidence as well. One quick tip is to take value in recognizing if you're talking to yourself negatively. That in itself is a win and you can remember to treat yourself positively, especially as increased negative self-talk can make performance worse. Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Jesse, This is a great piece of advice! Self-talk is crucial to our own confidence and can often be the motivation we can find within ourselves- rather than looking outward for reassurance. Marisa Held
Thank you comment icon I think you just helped my golf game! Teresa Heinrich
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Raven’s Answer

Here are a few suggestions I have for improving your in-game confidence:

1. Make sure you are working on improving your skills consistently, both within practice and on your own outside of practice time. Confidence comes from preparation. The more you work on your skills, the more prepared you will be to perform well in games.
2. Before games, try practicing visualization. This is a sport psychology technique that involves sitting alone in a quiet space, closing your eyes, and picturing yourself performing well in the game. Be as specific as possible with your thoughts and visualizations. Picture yourself making sharp moves, hitting shots, playing great defense, etc. Imagine what the gym will sound and feel like. This goes a long way toward building the confidence to perform well because it trains your mind to expect it to happen in the actual game.
3. Once the game starts, try to remain as present as possible at all times. This is called mindfulness. Don't dwell on the last play and don't worry about the next play. All that matters in that moment is the play in front of you. This will keep your mind present and free, and will prevent you from losing focus, which will inevitably improve your confidence and performance.
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Raymond’s Answer

I was a starting guard in basketball growing up. The best players I worked with focused on fundamentals and practiced for hours at a time on their own. They worked on basics like dribbling drills, footwork, and shooting form that they could do on their own. When they mastered the basics, it removed focus on those things in a game, because they were not thinking about it at all, and it gave them confidence to "just play". Suggest you pick 5 things you would like to stop worrying about in a game and work on it by yourself so that you can make the skill automatic. It will take many hours, the payoff is worth it.
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Brad’s Answer

Hi Aevin,

Confidence can all start from believing in yourself. Try not to or limit focusing on the negatives. If you do focus on the negatives, turn them into positives by understanding how you can improve. Example, if you find yourself struggling with your non-dominant hand, start finding ways to use your non-dominant hand more or focus on improving that area. Continue to build self belief by using positive reinforcement. Being hard on yourself probably means you have a high standard for yourself which is ok. It's great to set a high bar. But, try not to compare yourself to others and continue to focus on how you can get better. With repetition will come improvement. Don't give up and keep pushing!

Brad
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