After most wins, you really aren’t entitled to all the congratulations you get nor to the focus on all the good things that happened. And after most losses, you really don’t deserve all the criticism or the anguish of realizing that so many plays—if only just one had gone differently—cost you the victory.
Here are five ways to practice your mental toughness off the court. If you practice these five things, every day, you’ll develop greater self-discipline. You’ll become unstoppable in anything you do. It is five things you will have to rise above your feelings every day. That is how you build mental toughness. You develop, as a habit, a muscle of rising above your feelings to level of your aspirations and commitments.
Express the sincere appreciation you ought to feel for the fact that they came a long way just to watch you and your team perform.
Tell yourself a story of confidence. Something that is going to motivate you every single day and will keep you in peak state. Trust this process. It will pay off but it won’t be easy. The sacrifices you are going to have to make are going to be frustrating but they will be necessary.
THINK THE GAME
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How you handle adversity is completely up to you. Not your teammate. Not your brother. Not your sister. Not mom or dad but you.You will have set backs. Things will not go your way but failure is a part of success and you have complete control over the habits you have and build into your tool belt to handle that adversity.
If you want to instruct in a way that is really going to help your basketball team, you need to instruct before the bad thing happens, before the play takes place. In basketball, this opportunity—or failure—happens frequently.
Welcoming unfairness is one of the most useful principles in the life of any athlete. Champions don’t want to be put on an equal plane with others, they welcome the opportunity to show what they are made of under all sorts of conditions.
Part Two of How to Evaluate Yourself. Stemming from the need for a standard of personal excellence, I offer a citizenship test or “State of the Person” report card. In brief, here are twenty-one categories or subjects in which I think each person should strive to get an A. In my opinion, all A’s in these would qualify a person to think of himself as approaching excellence as a person in the same way Michael Jordan approached excellence as a basketball player. How do you measure up?