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By Kyle Ohman, co-owner of BasketballHQ.com
Without having confidence in your game as a player, you are not going to be as successful as you could be. You will get in the game and begin to doubt yourself. This will most likely lead to further mistakes, which will then lead to even less confidence in yourself. So how do you get out of this vicious cycle of not having belief in yourself, or how can you avoid this cycle altogether? Here are a few tips to developing confidence in your game.
Earn the Right to Be Confident
To be confident in your abilities, you have to spend the needed time developing and mastering your skills. For example, if you want to develop confidence shooting a basketball, then you need to spend time working on your shot. I played college and professional basketball and I worked on my game for a countless number of hours. The reason why is because I wanted to make sure I was prepared to win. The same thing goes for whatever sport you play or whatever skill you are trying to develop. If you haven’t spent the time earning the right to be confident, then you may fall into that vicious cycle from the start.
Get Back to the Basics
Even after spending the time developing a skill, you can still lose confidence in your abilities and feel at a loss for getting them back. What you need to do when this happens is get back to the basic fundamentals. When I played basketball in college, one of my greatest strengths was shooting. However, sometimes I would find myself in a shooting slump, and I would struggle to make shots. When this happened I would go back to the basics of shooting and spend time working on my mechanics and doing fundamental basketball shooting drills. This almost always helped me get right back on pace. Doing this will help give you confidence and also give yourself a refresher course on the basics. The same thing goes for any sport that you might play.
If you have done the first two things and you are still struggling with your confidence, then it is probably because you are overthinking. You need to trust all of your hard work. When you get in a game. let your muscle memory take over for you. If you are having to think about shooting the ball or whatever skill you may be doing, instead of allowing your body to just take over and do what it has been trained it to do, then you are only going to make it worse. You must be able to trust yourself and all of the hard work and training that you have done up until that point.
One of the worst things you can do when you are struggling or lacking confidence is to stop. In order to get through your slump you need to keep shooting, hitting, etc. “You can’t fail until you quit” is a true saying. Every player, no matter how good they are, will go through slumps when they play; it is part of the game. However, the really good players keep working and doing what they are supposed to do through these slumps. That is the difference.
Kyle Ohman was a thousand point scorer at Liberty University (div. 1), was ranked the 19th best shooter in the country by Fox Sports his senior year. Kyle has also played professionally in Spain. Most recently he coached a high school team that played on a national level and beat the 12th ranked team in the nation. Coach Ohman is the Co-Owner and founder of BasketballHQ.com.