DSC_0254When I worry about making my shot during a game, when I start thinking too much, it affects my shot in a bad way. So I have learned a trick that works for me on the basketball court come game time, and that is to simply forget about my shot. If my shot is off at the start of a game, the first thing I do is focus on other parts of my game; defense, rebounding, passing and of course making sure I hustle.

It may seem odd for a coach to say forget about the one thing that you are trying to do better, but it’s worked for me as a player and when I was coaching it was one of my first recommendations for a struggling shooter. I would tell them to forget about their shot and just get out there and play. Practice is when you become a better shooter, the game is where the work pays off if you don’t play all stressed out.

A great thing about basketball, is that you can hustle to relieve stress. This isn’t the case for all sports. For example, no part of golf calls for hustle, so there is no way, at least for me, to distract the mind. On the basketball court my hustle, helps make positive contributions to the team, as well as releases any frustration I might have, which in the end helps keep my mind calm.

Having a good mindset when playing basketball is important, very important, but you can get there differently when playing basketball. On those days when things aren’t going well and you’re shot’s off, hustle on defense, bump the cutters, crash the boards, run the break and help your teammates score by getting them the ball. Your game will come around and that shot you love will be back in no time.