Negativethinking is 100% effective when it comes to playing sports. When a person getsready to shoot a basketball and thinks he is going to miss, what is the chance hewill make it? Not very good. The key to playing well in sports starts with agreat mindset and a positive attitude.
People who are great at sportsoften also have great minds. They have a short-term memory for bad things and along-term memory for good. Have you ever stood over a five-foot putt or at thefree-throw line and suddenly the thought of missing flashes through your mind? Itis a problem many athletes have to deal with. Unfortunately, negative thoughtsseem to come at the worst possible time. Athletes need to work on this problemand have confidence that they can do what their minds tell them theycan.
The reason most things are not accomplished really has nothing to dowith physical talent but rather the lack of the right mindset. Sports is allabout having your mind focused. For instance, when you play golf, you should bethinking about your next shot, not your last one. You need to think of positivethings and where you want the ball to end up. Thinking positively may notguarantee success, but it will surely give it a chance to occur.
The bestthing you can do to start a change in your mind is to do the physical aspectsright. When you play basketball, go out there and work on something. Don't justsay you shot 50 free-throws or 200 jumpers. Practice with a purpose. Next,develop a routine. When you shoot a free-throw, dribble the ball a certain numberof times, look at the basket and then release. When you play the game the way youpractice, you will feel relaxed. You'll know it isn't that hard because you havebeen there, done that.
In order to do well in sports you need to do a fewthings. One is to think positively, to see yourself doing well or making the bigshot. The second is that you need to focus on the task. The third is to practicelike it is a game and practice with a purpose. Vince Lombardi once said,"Winning isn't a sometimes thing; it's an all-the-time thing." That isthe doorway to success in sports. Only you can open the door and walk through it.With mind and body, anything can be accomplished.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.