Youth Sports

Do you think too much when you are Playing?

Anxiety and overthinking can bring about the worst consequences while you are playing a game. If you keep thinking too much when you are taking part in your practice or matches, that would definitely affect your performance. As a matter of fact, there are a few certain reasons due to which you can not focus on your games especially owing to last game’s results, or upcoming is a big competition, and most of the time expectations are quite high with your performance. Many professional and experienced coaches and sports analysts have ascribed this problem of overthinking with the internal battle amongst players, and at times even between a player and coach. Before every game, you as a player need to clear your mind and establish a routine in respect of your program that can help prevent anxiety and overthinking. There is no denying the fact that players and coaches are creatures of distinct habits, and establishing a routine program would ease one’s nerves, thereby can get ready physically and mentally for the practices and competitions. Many players are unable to decide or take action because of analysis paralysis. This means players keep examining their action minutely that prevent them to be decisive.

Read more: 8 Important Life Lessons Kids Discover from Basketball

Causes and Solutions

  • Coaches foster analysis paralysis: We have a somewhat defective teaching and coaching method whereby compelling players to be attentive even on the minute details. Many coaches want perfection and emphasize players focus on everything thoroughly while performing their skills. Instead of focusing on a particular skill, players try to master each and everything and consequently lose their concentration. As a result, their anxiety and overthinking yield no productive results, rather produce the opposite of the desired outcome. In this respect, coaches should change their course of action, especially with regard to training. They should not insist on the players focusing on minute things, rather improve individual skills.
  • Read more: How Young Athletes Can Maintain Conditioning With Fall Sports Postponed

  • Emphasis on the wrong priorities: It has also been observed that a coach’s priorities are not correct when instructing. For instance, many coaches emphasize launch angles, aiming, concentration on elbows while teaching shooting. This is a wrong method and an inappropriate priority. As a matter of fact, shooting is a skill that requires a Kinesthetic feel and sense. If there would be any hitch during that feel, the desired outcome does not come and subsequently can decrease performance. As a result, the player would start thinking too much and losing his or her concentration and would get worse off instead of improving performance.

Read more: Has Kids’ Sports Become too Competitive?

  • Repetition and an unconscious action: According to Don Kelbick, a seasoned basketball coach, repetition is the fundamental key to be proficient if you want to master any skill. He believes that repetition becomes an unconscious action and even gets better over the due course of time. Therefore, keep doing things over and over again unless it becomes your unconscious action.
  • Find what pacify you: Always find ways and means which calm you down. Indeed, overthinking coupled with anxiety creates panic, and resultantly it affects your energy level. Only one thing that can help you out in such a panic situation is nothing but your energy and confidence level. Whenever you panic due to anything, try to avoid it and start doing another one that alleviates your mood. Many players listen to music, play videogames, watch movies, etc., while confronting tense situations. 
  • Simplify your thoughts: It is a prudent approach to focus on the task being pursued rather than overthinking about other things. This approach would simplify your focus on specific thoughts. Undoubtedly, you can neither forget your past nor foresee the future. However, it is in your hand to concentrate on a particular task that is to be achieved instantly. It is evident from many examples that players who focused on their current task always got through and accomplished positively. 
  • Without trust, no team sports: In many cases, overthinking results from uncertainty regarding the big game and results thereof. At this critical juncture, while uncertainty is increasing, it is vitally essential to have trust in one another. You need to trust in your teammates, your coaches, and above all, in yourself. You can not have a team without trust and belief. Admittedly, you do not have any substitute for fellowship. Moreover, you are unbeatable as a team awash with players that have trust in each other.

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