Mental toughness can be one of the most difficult skills to hone as an athlete and to teach as a coach. It’s easy for players to let things like opponents, fans, or errors get in their head and hinder their performance for the rest of the game. As a coach, it’s essential to help your athletes move on from mistakes in order to win games. Graham Betchart, a performance coach who specializes in mental skills training, outlines a few elements that make up the mindset of a champion.
These are great to give to your athletes before the season starts or to even have posted on the wall in the locker room.
- Believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to love your talent.
- Motivate yourself. Set personal goals.
- Think like a champion. Consistent mind equals consistent performance.
- Visualize success. See it, feel it, believe it, be it.
- Mentally prepare for competition. Create a consistent pre-game routine.
- Welcome the pressure. Embrace all challenges and obstacles and look at them as opportunities.
- Play to play great, not to just avoid mistakes.
- Focus on the moment at hand. Stay ‘present’ when you compete.
- Trust your abilities. Play without worry.
- Compete—every moment and every play.
- Control what you can. Let everything else go.
- Attitude, effort, and focus are in your control. Discipline yourself.
- Learn from losses. You’ll often learn the most from defeat.
- Write your own story. How do you want to be remembered?
- Commit to the mental game. Work on your mental skills every day.
- Love hard work. Learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
“I always visualized my success. The process of seeing success before it happened put me in a positive frame of mind and prepared me to play the game.” -Michael Jordan
How do you help your athletes achieve the mindset of a champion?
Alan Stein is the owner of Stronger Team, the head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Nike Elite DeMatha Catholic High School basketball program. He is a performance consultant for Nike Basketball, the head conditioning coach for the annual Jordan Brand All American Classic and the Nike Summer Skills Academies. He is a Camp Coach at the prestigious NBA Players Association’s Top 100 Camp as well as the Chris Paul CP3 Elite Backcourt Camp. He is the former strength & conditioning coach for the McDonald’s All American game. His passion, enthusiasm, and innovative training techniques make him a world renowned expert on productive training for basketball players.