Mind Over Sports


Posted on: March 5, 2015

Let’s assume you’re a shooting guard and play for a Division I Men’s Basketball Team. Just before one of your games you’ve experienced a problem in your personal life and haven’t told anyone about it. You’ve “stuffed it” inside yourself, thus affecting your ability to focus. In that particular game you go 1 for 10, which means you missed nine shots. Those nine shots represented a potential 18 points (even more if any were three pointers) not to mention that the opposing team may have gotten the rebounds and taken the ball down the court and hit five of them. That represents another 10 points. If you combine them they represent a 28 point differential. Pretty hard to overcome in a typical game. It’s like giving your opponent a 28 point advantage. And that’s from just one player. That’s why I advocate coaches create team support groups, allowing their players to talk about their personal feelings and issues with their teammates instead of “bottling” them up. And very often a player’s issues could be the result of a problem with the coach, which is why team meetings without coaches present often produce a positive change in the won-lost column. Remember, withholding (keeping your issues and emotions bottled up inside yourself) is a form of lying that demeans you and lowers your self-esteem, creating psychological baggage that affects your ability to focus and process information.


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