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The Psychology Of Basketball

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Like most sports, basketball is not just a game of skill and durability, it is also a mind game. Without the ability to focus and to feel positive energy it is difficult to be successful at basketball or most anything else. When players are “in the groove” mentally as well as physically, astounding things happen. The track record of the great athletes indicates a mental toughness and a steadfast confidence that is as important to their success as is their athletic talents. Even the most athletically gifted individuals perform far below their capabilities if they do not have the right mind set. Such a case in point is Jazz rookie, Gordon Hayward. Hayward had a stellar year last year which propelled his college team to great success in the NCAA Championships. He was amazing to watch as shot after shot left his hands and went straight into the basketball goal. Fans were thrilled when he put on a Jazz basketball uniform and committed to play for Utah. He is a very talented young athlete and yet he is struggling mightily right now. He has started the last three games for Jerry Sloan as back-up guard for injured Raja Bell and in approximately 40 minutes of play has scored only one point. For a guy who finished his last season with red-hot play that has got to be discouraging. He acknowledges that the problem is not with his skills but with his head. He realizes that he needs to quit over analyzing every move and just play the game. When that starts to happen, he’knows that his game will come around. Confidence, focus and mental toughness are crucial for success on the basketball court.