How to Want The Ball in The Final Moments of The Game
Some athletes want the ball in their hand in the closing seconds of a game while other athletes pray they don’t get the ball as time ticks down.
Which athlete do you or your athletes fall into?
Some athletes are overwhelmed by performance anxiety in sports and have great difficulty closing out games or taking the last shot…
Your mind becomes cluttered with ‘what ifs’…
“What if I miss? What if I lose the game for my team? What if the team becomes angry with me for missing the last shot?”
You become so anxious and tight, which leads to poor decision making and a lack of freedom.
Instead of trying to get open, you blend in the background. You basically opt out of the game hoping another player takes the last shot to decide the game.
You may feel that there is nothing you can do about confidence to closing out games or how to approach game-ending pressure situations.
That is where sport psychology comes into play…
You can improve your mental game about closing out games by applying proven mental strategies.
You CAN definitely be the player to sink the game-ending winning shot or score the final goal with some practice just like Kris Jenkins of the Villanova Wildcats.
Jenkins hit a three-pointer buzzer-beater to give the Wildcats a 77-74 victory over North Carolina for the NCAA tournament championship.
JENKINS: “You know, we put a lot of work in. This team, everybody has the confidence to catch and shoot. So when Arch (Villanova guard Ryan Arcidiacono) threw me the ball, one, two step, shoot ’em up, sleep in the streets. I think every shot is going in, so that one was no different.”
How do you get the confidence of Jenkins to perform well in the closing moments of a game?
Practice specificity is a concept I teach to my athletes that helps them rehearse specific game situations in practice!
For example, Villanova practices last-second shots every day…
When you practice under game-like situations, you build confidence in those situation. So when you are in competition, you are doing what you have practiced often.
This type of practice doesn’t eliminate anxiety, nor does it guarantee that you will make every game-ending play, goal or shot.
Specificity practice increases confidence which helps you perform in anticipated situations.
Villanova head basketball coach Jay Wright knows the value of being mentally prepared in critical situations. He credits mental preparedness for his team’s ability to produce in the clutch.
COACH WRIGHT: “We do practice that. We have certain plays with less than four seconds, from four to seven seconds. Every coach has this. Zero to four, four to seven, seven to 12. We have plays. So we know what it is. We practice it every day. I didn’t have to say anything in the huddle. We have a name for it, that’s what we’re going to do. Just put everybody in their spots.”
If you anticipate and prepare mentally for different game scenarios, you will have a feeling of “deja vu” instead of being overwhelmed by the unexpected.
Good mental preparation is all about being prepared to cope with any situation you will face in sports.
Top strategy for developing a crunch-time mentality:
Write out a script for how you like to close out a tight game including: having the confidence to want the ball and the excitement of taking the last shot. Rehearse how you want to perform as time runs out and the excitement and celebration on the floor afterwards.
Take this script and act it out in practice. Make it a part of your everyday routine. You will soon see your confidence and focus improve, as well as your mental approach to taking the “BIG” shot.
Boost Your Self-Confidence With Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach, Dr. Patrick Cohn, can help you or your athlete(s), ages 12 and up, overcome mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“I think Dr. Cohn’s mental coaching has help me immensely. It has taught me what to focus on in and out of the race car. How to stay calm and focused have been key skills that I have learned which are important in helping me be a better and more confident race car driver.”
~AJ Allmendinger, Indy Car Driver
For All Athletes – Learn Confidence-Boosting Techniques!
D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
No matter ow positive you try to be, are you unable to shake the doubt that rushes into your head when you size up your competition?
Have you labeled yourself as a loser, poor closer, or mediocre athlete and these labels keep you stuck in a rut of self-pity and indecision?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, check out The Confident Athlete!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for ultimate self-confidence. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover proven confidence-boosting techniques guaranteed to drastically build self-confidence and improve sports performance.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“The books/CD’s in ‘The Confident Athlete’ are very good. My swimmer has responded very favorably to them, in fact, her father purchased all three programs. You have done a great job consolidating and simplifying the myriad of ideas in sports psychology.”
~Nick Baker, Peak Performance Swim Camp
“I am a ASP world qualifying professional surfer and after beginning the ‘The Confident Athlete’ I had an almost instant change in attitude about my own surfing ability and my mindset going into competition. By using the Confident Athlete strategies, my confidence has done a complete 180 degrees. I won a local pro/am a few weeks back, and just had my best result of the year in one the last big events on the world circuit this last week in Brazil! It is my secret weapon!”
~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
What are parents and coaches saying about our program?
“I just wanted to say thank you for your wonderful programs. My son Kai was one of the fastest 10 and under swimmers in Southern California and after he “aged up” to the 11-12 group he really lost confidence swimming against the much faster and bigger boys. He started with the Confident Sports Kids series and really enjoyed each and every lesson. He then started the Composed Kid series and built on the important building blocks that he was using from the first series. I so happy to report that Kai was able to swim to best times in each and every event he swam at the biggest and most important meet of the year in So Cal, the Club Championships. Each race he was more calm, composed, and relaxed. The final race was one that he was ranked last and one of his goals was to try for top 16…he was 49th! He cut over 4 seconds off his time ending up in 17th. He was ecstatic to say the least.”
For Mental Coaches – Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach