Basketball is a transition sport that requires athletes to be committed mentally and physically on both sides of the ball. Games are often determined in the final few possessions of play, therefore one’s ability to remain calm yet confident when closing out a game is critical.
To play at their best, basketball players must train their mind to effectively focus on the task at hand, maintain optimal levels of intensity, and remain emotionally centered while on the court.
Unfortunately, players can become their own worst enemy, doubting their own game and getting in their own heads when taking shots or making plays. This cycle often continues, and self-confidence and belief in one self begins to dwindle – as a result, the coach may lose trust in a player and playing time suffers.
Here at CEP Mindset, we work with basketball players to train the inner voice in their head to effectively manage self-doubt and performance anxiety. We most commonly help with:
- The Problem
Basketball is a fast-paced aggressive game that requires a mix of toughness and composure. In meaningful games, the other team’s players may try to get under the skin of their opponents with hard defence. Individuals may respond to such challenges by getting over energized and taking a foul or even by trying to do too much with the ball.
- How We Help
Instead of being undisciplined and taking fouls or changing ones games based on challenges from the other team, we want to be able to mindfully manage the levels of arousal we experience. By tapping into our body’s built in mechanisms for self-regulating (eg. breathing), we can not only become aware of when we are too emotionally involved, but we can implement actionable strategies to respond in effective manners to use such situations instead of them using us.
- The Problem
After you miss a few shots in a row, it can be challenging to have the confidence to take the next shot. The lack of confidence means the next shot you do take is less likely to go in because you are not trusting it. This tough cycle to break. Similarly, nobody wants to be the person at the end of the game who missed the shot at the buzzer. It would be much better to just ignore this potential burden and pass the ball off to someone else and let them take the shot. We may find ourselves doing this several times throughout the game – afraid to trust ourselves and attack the game.
- How We Help
Regardless of what happen with the last shot, you want to trust your ability to make the next one. Similarly, you want to be the person with the ball as the buzzer ticks down, with the ball in your hands and total commitment to taking that shot. The key difference here is not that you won’t feel the doubt creep in, it’s what you choose to do with it that matters next. Our coaches help you to make choices and perform your best in the moments it matters most. Moreover, they help you accept and let go of things that might be outside your control in pressure filled situations.
- The Problem
In practice you may perform with a quiet mind, and it is easy to perform. But once games roll around you notice your mind becomes messy and you are conscious of every little decision you make. Initially, you may be in a mental state where you consistently go to the shooting line confident and trusting in your abilities. However, once you get there your mind may start to chatter. There are few players (if any) in the world who can execute at an elite level when they have to play against two opponents: the other team and their inner voice.
- How We Help
We work to train one’s inner self-talk to be productive rather than consuming. The words, phases, and mantras players choose throughout their performances are critical to be able to work in harmony with their mind. All kinds of thoughts can arise throughout a game, and having a structured reset routine to help one acknowledge and tame their inner voice allows them to perform at their potential with the help of a quiet and calm mind. This is crucial to being a great free throw shooter in games.
At CEP, our purpose is to help you achieve Consistent Elite Performance.
In order to do that, you need to spend more time in the ZONE.
The problem is, like most basketball players, you spend too much time in your own head.
This can be frustrating and discouraging because you have put in all this work to develop your physical abilities, but your mindset is causing you to underperform.
We understand that working on your mindset can be difficult and confusing.
That is why the CEP System has 3 simple steps that have helped 10,000’s of athletes get in the ZONE:
When you join our programs, you will stop spending so much time in your own head and start achieving Consistent Elite Performance.
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint – and in the same manner you shouldn’t work on your mental game without first knowing what to work on.
The CEP assessment breaks down your mindset into the 7 Mental Skills that you need to develop in order to build a strong foundation and win the mental game.
This breakdown not only helps us determine which mental skills to prioritize in your program, but also ensures we keep you accountable to making progress.
Now that you can see what you will be working on, let us show you HOW you will work on it.
A good blueprint won’t help without the right tools. For example, you may have tried the cookie-cutter advice perpetuated by sport culture like ‘be positive, forget about it, or don’t worry about it.’
But when you build your mental game by patching together all these fluffy quick fixes – it’s like building a house out of straw – it is not sustainable & will fall apart in the face of adversity & pressure.
Instead, you need to build your mental game – like you would a brick house – out of practical & personalized strategies that deliver reliable and repeatable results.
We have 3 sets of tools – you might not need to use all the tools, but you do need to build your personalized mental toolbox based on your blueprint and current needs.
All of our athletes consistently implement these 4 Fundamentals to get in the Zone on game day. The Alter Ego is at the core, and the other 3 strategies create a continuous Prepare-Play-Reflect Process that maximizes your ability to show up as your best self.
Mental Preparation is used before games and practices, the Reset Routine is used during, and the Reflection Process is used after. When you consistently implement these cyclical strategies, it results in an upward spiral in your mindset and performance.
There are also 7 Support Tools that help optimize the 4 Fundamentals. Integrating these tools into your Prepare-Play-Reflect Process will help you overcome your biggest mental blocks.
The key to optimizing your performance identity always comes back to consistently implementing and refining the 4 fundamentals.
This set of tools is key to building the right habits before and after games, as well as away from the arena or field. These habits not only include what to do, but what not to do. For example, frequently checking stats is a common habit athletes need to remove or limit.
These 5 Tools help you manage daily stresses, create effective feedback mechanisms, and build an optimal environment to maximize your mental and physical preparedness for game day.
To support these tools, you also have the option to integrate the most current technologies for elite athletes (e.g., Whoop, Muse, HeartMath).
The final set of tools is the pinnacle of working on your mindset. It helps you be the best leader you can be and positively influence others. These 3 Tools work together to optimize the ‘soft’ skills of leadership.
Most athletes will not start their programs working with these tools, but as they master their performance identity and elite habits, they naturally become better leaders and are primed to tap into these tools.
Implementing steps 1 and 2 can get you results quickly, but if you stop doing the work you will gradually stop getting the benefits.
Similar to how a brick house needs be maintained and modified – the mental game requires constant work and refinement. It never ends.
It is a constant process of self-awareness, self-discovery, and growth.
As time passes you will need to evolve & upgrade your alter ego and reset routine.
You should also constantly tweak and tinker with their personalized scorecard, imagery scripts, and core priorities to match your ever changing landscape.
At CEP Mindset, we like to use our 5 Milestones to make the mental game more tangible and help keep you committed to the constant upkeep and upgrades.
Every season you start from square one and have to put in the work to reach each milestone.
Note that the numbers above are generic and are altered depending on the sport. We use 95% plus in the zone to avoid the trap of perfection.
1-on-1 Coaching Programs for Basketball Players
We work with Youth, Amateur, and Professional Basketball Players
The 1-on-1 coaching sessions are in person, on zoom, or via phone and they are schedule based on your needs and availability. You start with a free 30 minute 1-on-1 intro session, then your coach will recommend which option will be the best fit for you. The first session in your program is generally 1 hour and the remaining sessions are 30 minutes. Here are the options for amateur basketball players:
Try It Out – Risk Free
Start with a free 30 min intro session. Once you choose a program, then we promise that within the first 30-Days you will be satisfied with your program and see results or we will give you a 100% refund. You choose a program that you plan to complete – you are not locked in and can stop at anytime.
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Because of this level of commitment from us, we ONLY select athletes that are highly committed to achieving Consistent Elite Performance into these programs, and once in, athletes are required to meet certain expectations to stay in the program.
Acceleration Days (approximately a 2 hr session) are meant to expedite your journey up the Mindset Mountain. When and how these sessions are used are unique to each athlete and their needs, but generally, they are used for either:
a) Reviewing a recent game performance, where your coach has either watched video prior to the Acceleration Day or has watched you perform live (if possible). In the session, your coach will give you their analysis of your game, particularly in regards to your mindset and body language. This will facilitate important dialogue that will help you achieve optimal performance through better alignment of your mindset and actions.
b) Tackling a meaningful opportunity for growth, such as: develop the fundamentals quickly, help you break through a major mental block, or take a high-level assessment of your overall situation, then narrow down on the greatest opportunities for growth and create a highly detailed plan for development going forward.
The rule of thumb is that our programs are NOT covered under most benefits because Dr. Cassidy Preston & the CEP team of coaches are not clinical therapists and are not licensed to diagnose or treat mental illness. They are coaches and consultants who help athletes strengthen their mindset, get in the ZONE, and achieve Consistent Elite Performance. You can read more about the similarities and differences between a sport psychologist and mental performance coach by clicking here.