As basketball coaches, we talk with our players about being mentally tough. We constantly tell them to focus and block out what does not matter. But we tend to do this after something has already taken away their focus and is now a distraction or problem. We are reactive rather than proactive. Herein lies the problem.
Without knowing it or intending to do so, we have made our teams fragile by how we practice. Think about it, every practice environment is almost the exact same. Your basketball players know what to expect, which builds a sense of comfort. So when they get in a new, poor or different gym, things can start to change mentally—focus can shift.
Change it up.
My suggestion to you is to teach and work on focus and mental toughness like any other skill with your team. Think about the things that create problems during games. For example, how do your players react when the ref makes a call that hurts your team? Practice that. After all, how can you be good at something you have not practiced, failed and learned from?
Make at least one practice a week non ideal. Change the lighting, take the nets off, use a bad ball, wear old practice jerseys, play loud and annoying music throughout practice, make bad calls on purpose. Do things that are next to impossible to ignore (within reason) and let your basketball players figure out as a team how to regain focus on what really matters.
This is a correspondence between PGC owner Dena Evans and a long-time PGC grad. I was so moved by Dena’s response to this player, which the player’s father shared with me, I decided to ask Dena, and this athlete, for permission to share this correspondence publicly. If you know the heart-ache and disappointment of not reaching your team or individual goals, this is a must-read.
PGC Director Sam Allen brings you this drill called “3-part Floater” to help your players add options to their arsenal. These finishes require players come to a controlled stop, on two feet. This control will allow them to change their attack and take advantage of whatever the defense gives them.
Have you ever thought your coach or your child’s coach was playing favorites? In the coaching profession you often hear many complaints. In basketball, one complaint that particularly sticks out is playing favorites. Do coaches play favorites? Yes they do.
PGC Basketball provides intense, no-nonsense basketball training for players and coaches. Our basketball camps are designed to teach players of all positions to play smart basketball, be coaches on the court, and be leaders in practices, games and in everyday life.
We combine our unique PGC culture with a variety of teaching methods and learning environments to maximize the learning potential of those that attend our sessions. In addition to spending 6-7 hours on the court each day, lessons will be reinforced through classroom sessions and video analysis.
Our goal at PGC is to empower you with the tools to fulfill your basketball dreams, while also assisting you in experiencing the joy of the journey.