Coaching Basketball Take Control of Your Mind

This article was written by Lindsey Wilson. Lindsey is the Co-Founder of Positive Performance Mental Training Zone. Lindsey played basketball at Iowa State and then played professionally overseas. She has been teaching, writing and speaking about mental training for the last 6 years.

Take Control of Your Mind

by Lindsey Wilson

There are those who are brave, and then there are those who are BRAVR™.


The BRAVR™ Goal

We developed this focusing technique to give coaches and athletes a more defined path toward achieving their goals. Through BRAVR™, athletes and coaches alike can manifest their dreams into reality through a process that “resets” the brain and prepares the mind and body for optimum performance.


The Coach’s Role

Encourage players to use all five components of the BRAVR™ Method.

  • Remind them to breathe properly and deeply.
  • Help them to identify negativities that are holding them back, and to blow them out when they exhale.
  • Remind them to say their positive affirmation every day, out loud! If they have trouble coming up with an affirmation, come up with one together.
  • Assure they visualize themselves succeeding using all their senses. Go through each sense individually to bring the whole picture together. Can they see the opponents’ uniform colors? Smell the sweat? Hear the sound of sneakers squeaking on the court?
  • Come up with a reset word that both describes and inspires them. Learn your players’ reset words and use them to encourage them during practice and during games when you see they are mentally struggling.

Use the BRAVR™ Method on yourself.

Even though coaches are the most neglected members of the team, they require just as much mental training and preparation as any player. Get yourself performing at your best – get in focus with positive thinking and proper breathing – and you’ll be better able to pass that confidence along to your athletes.

Do BRAVR™ as a team.

It doesn’t take a lot of time and is so easy it can be done alongside most pre-existing routines, like pre-practice stretching, water breaks, and cool downs.

Immediate Improvement

Many of our clients report that the first 20-minutes of practice drastically improves after implementing this five-minute pre-practice routine. Giving your team an opportunity to get their minds centered, focus on practice, visualize what they want to achieve, and let go of any unproductive thoughts and emotions is the most productive use of 300 seconds that we know of.

BRAVR™ Quick Start:

After telling your team why you’re doing this pre-practice routine (there may be considerable eye-rolling, but just ignore that; your team will notice a difference almost immediately!), start the BRAVR Method by reading off these instructions to your team:

  • Breathe. Close your eyes and take five deep, long belly breaths. Count six seconds in, and six seconds out.
  • Release. Let go of all unproductive thoughts, emotions, and all those things that don’t serve a purpose at the moment: self-doubt, worry, fear, or even feelings of silliness. Focus strictly on breathing.
  • Affirm. States your personal sports-related affirmation quietly to yourself.
  • Visualize. Visualize that affirmation as if it is happening right now. (Again, it’s important to use all five senses in imagining your affirmation becoming reality.)
  • Reset word. Say your one- or two-word reset word quietly to yourself at the top of every breath and at the end of your visualization. This will also serve as your tool to get back into a relaxed and focused state (For example: during a break in a competition, take a deep breath, say your Reset word, and get your mind back to where you want it.)
  • Final Breath. Take one final long, deep belly breath, six seconds in, six seconds out. Open your eyes and start playing!

You can download the Positive Performance BRAVR Quick Start Guide at this link: BRAVR Quick Start Guide

Print it out. Use it at your next practice. Take it with you on the road. Put it in your gym bag. Post it in the locker room. Put this technique to work for you wherever you and your athletes might need to take a few minutes to reset and get BRAVR.

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