Question: What can you do to restore an individual’s drive, focus and confidence in his game? Yeah, it’s only pick-up ball at the Y but it’s just not there anymore and it makes me a little crazy.
Answer: If it is pick-up ball, do you play every day? If you do, the easiest solution is to take three days away from it to allow your body to recover and more importantly allow your mind time to refresh itself with a change in the routine. The old saying the absence makes the heart grow fonder is true, especially when it comes to being a little burnt out from doing the same thing each day. The primary problem isn’t physical either, it’s mental.
Another method to begin to restore confidence is to get back to basics and review, even practice basic ball handling skills and shots repetitively. This doesn’t need to be for a long period of time but for a few minutes on each shot beginning with ones you know you are capable of making. Once the easy shots are dropping move towards progressively more difficult shots. Set up cones and practice ball handling skills through those.
The most effective way to restore confidence is through past performance. In this case your performance has not been your best which has affected your confidence. Returning to what you know well and using the concept of successfully completing shots that are increasingly difficult will help to restore your self-confidence.
Goal setting is another important vehicle to self-confidence. Use performance goals in practice like hitting a certain number of shots before you move back into pick-up games.
Games are the fun part of competition but occasionally returning to skills practice can have a positive effect on your psychological portion of competition. Confidence is like a guardian angel for athletes. Believing in yourself and in your team mates can lead to playing above your potential.
Being well conditioned is another way to maintain confidence. Fatigue causes players to lose their focus and concentration. Work on your conditioning in ways other than playing games. Knowing that you’re capable of playing the entire game without losing a step can keep your confidence high.
God bless and keep training,