The summer before my senior year in high school, a buddy of mine was working out and playing while on his summer break from his D1 college. We’ll keep this story nameless to protect the innocent 😉 A player, who played at Duke, came into our gym talking smack and was very arrogant and disrespectful. My buddy was not going to accept this kind of disrespect, so he said, “Check ball.” Game is to 11 by 1s. My buddy then told the entire gym that he would score 11 straight on the Dukie. And he did. Final score 11-0 and Dukie was told to leave our gym. How could someone say that they were going to score 11 straight points on a high major Division 1 player, and then do it. One word… CONFIDENCE!
When you walk onto the court knowing you can score at will, and are literally unstoppable, you have a different air about you. You walk differently, move differently, and are a very scary player. This kind of confidence and skill doesn’t happen because you talk the talk, it happens because you walk the walk. Day in and day out of focused and deliberate mastery of your game. Confidence comes from within because only you know how much work you’re actually putting in every single day. Master these 3 aspects to raise your confidence and elevate your game.
1) Develop Your Mindset by feeding your brain great things. Read books about successful people. Study gamefilm and be a student of the game. Feed your body the right nutrients so your brain gets the right fuel. Do not waste your time watching T.V. or mindlessly scrolling through your social media. None of that is moving you forward. Basketball is a mental game, so feed your brain the right stuff.
Your mindset determines how you approach your life and the game of basketball. How you do anything is how you do everything. Do you write C aka average papers in class or do you give it your all and do A work? Are you an overachiever and so hungry to dominate at everything you do? If you answered yes then you are well on your way. If you answered no then there is work to do. Your mindset has to be strong. You’ve got to become mentally tough. Focus on what you CAN do and be sure to think positively about everything you do. Change your mindset, change your life.
2) Commit to being the best player you can be. Walk away from average work ethic, average ball handling, an average jump shot, and all things average and mediocre. Commit to becoming the absolute best player you can be. Commitment means that even if you don’t feel like waking up an hour early to foam roll and work on dribbling drills, you do it any way. Commitment means that whether you feel like it or not, you cannot let yourself down. No one else. You versus who you were yesterday and you always win because you are committed to being the greatest of all time.
3) Relentless Work Ethic – When you have a relentless work ethic, you become a totally different player. There are moves that you’ve practiced and perfected after thousands and thousands of reps. There are shots that you make because you’ve practiced the same exact perfect shot thousands and thousands of times. Most people will call you lucky, but they don’t know the countless hours you’ve put in to perfect those shots.
When your work ethic is so strong and you MUST get better everyday, you enter a league of your own. No one can touch you. Why? Because YOU know. You know you can’t be stopped. You know you’ve made that move a million times. You know you study more gamefilm. You know you have put in thousands and thousands of hours to dominate every aspect of the game. While others hope and wish they have a good game, your work ethic ensures it. Your work ethic demands that you play your best.
When you have a bad game, you don’t sulk or pout, you go right back to work because you’re obsessed with improvement. You are RELENTLESS. Your work ethic matches your goals.
Confidence begins with the mind, is developed by your level of commitment, and reaches its peak when you have a relentless work ethic.
Article by Brandon Cochran
Optimum Basketball Co-Founder
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