How unstoppable would you be if you approached the game with the mindset of Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant? Both NBA players were recognized internationally for their achievements and their raw competitive nature.
They would never back down from any challenges!
Reaching that mental toughness is not impossible if you commit to following these three principles:
- On to the Next Play
- Embrace Fear
- Trust the Process
Principle #1: On to the Next Play
“S*** play. Flush it. Move on.”
To become a dominant player, you must remain focused on the current play, whether the previous one was good or bad. While the game is on, there are no benefits of dwelling upon your mistakes since your teammates still need you to execute your assignment.
Instead, think of performing the next play effectively to build momentum. The best time to assess your game is when the game is over.
- What did I consistently execute well during the game?
- Which part of my game needs to be better?
- How am I going to address it during team practices AND on my own time?
If you have a hard time answering these questions, you can watch the game tape to understand better what happened or ask your coach for his point of view.
Principle #2: Embracing Fear
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
You will take on important responsibilities that will make you uncomfortable during games – taking the last shot or guarding the best offensive player, etc. Those moments will help you build the confidence needed to become fearless, and they will help you grow.
You have been practicing basketball drills multiple times to prepare for these scenarios; thus, you should believe in your capabilities and prevent self-doubt from achieving your true potential.
Being fearless is understanding what is on the line, but you still take action without the outcome in mind.
Principle #3: Be Obsessed with the Process
“The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach… I do think that it’s important, in all endeavours, to have that mentality.”
In your basketball journey, you will go through wins & losses, which are part of the game; you can never fold from a failure and never settle from a victory because you can learn from both experiences. Be obsessed in becoming a better basketball player than you were the day before:
- Master the fundamentals of the game.
- Never get bored of practicing the basics.
- Be meticulous.
Surprisingly, this is how you will perform spectacular moves during games that will end up on highlight reels and on the scouts’ watchlists.
Following a plan focused on gimmicks will not bring you far, and it will distract you from what matters to get to your goals.
Both Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant were vocal about their approach to the game with mental toughness and obsession. Not only did they become great, but their teammates benefited from their disciplined approached in their game prep, which helped them develop their championship mindset.
Through impeccable hard work and self-discipline, you could surpass the competition since most players are not prepared to do the simplest things over and over again.
Are you ready to outwork the competition and become one of the GOATs?