How can I, a player, help prepare my entire team for competition? : LUSENET : APA Division 47 Exercise and Sport Psychology : One Thread

I am a basketball player on a small team, in a small town, and sports is not a big deal to everyone else. I have a chance to play in college and the only way for coaches to watch me play is if we continue into post season. So I was wondering how to help my team prepare mentally for the games, because we have the skill to win over any team but we seem to choke when it comes to down to crunch time? What can I do?

-- Linnet Aurora Rain (, January 12, 1998


All players must believe they can play and succeed in a competitive situation. You seem to already have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. You have probably been exposed to higher levels of play as in college enviroment. If not, you are far ahead of those around you. Remember no one likes to be told or led by a peer. You will be a better teammate by just leading by example. Some will follow your lead and some will not. You cannot carry others on your back and also be effective as a players yourself. Sounds like you need to look outside of your region to find others who think as you do. As a young player you appear to believe you can unite your team and everyone can play as you would like. This is a nice thought , but not realistic. Search out traveling teams and go to as many camps as you can. You will find like minded players you can ally with.

-- (, March 21, 1998.

Is walking away from this team and giving up on them really the answer as suggests ? Perhaps encouragement from their peers would instill confidence in this team. Use various tools such as imagery in various situations. Invariably, if you show them that you have faith in their ability and that you are prepared to stick around and win with them,then this will breed confidence and give the team as a unit an inner strength which should improve their perfomance in tight situations. Good Luck !

-- Jonathan Daniels (, July 02, 1998.

Whatever you do, do not make others around you resent you. Don't make your teammates feel that you only want to do well for yourself. They have to believe in themselves as much as you believe in yourself. Don't act as though you are better because you have the chance to pla in college. They have to want to win, or to go to college. You have to show them that each of them has a reason to do well for themselves, for the team and for their teammates. I play soccer at college and the one thing my coach always said was "play for eachother, pick each other up. When you see someone is down, don't step on them, help them to get going again." I agree 100% with this philosophy and I try to usse it on and off the field.

-- Theresa Rosbert (, January 15, 1999.

The truth is, is that the only thing that you can prepare is yourself for the competition. It is the only real thing you have control of. Your position on the team, your assignments, and your own focus is what you can excell at. My contention is that through your own skill mastery, others in the group may see the fun your having, or the success, and they may want to work harder too. Focus on that. Concentrate on what your supposed to do. That's reality. One thing however: During practice, it might be a good idea to make fun out of your practices. Have fun with your teammates during drills. Laugh with them, and keep in the back of your mind to make your role as a teammate who wants to prepare the other players on your team, that of someone who is focusing on the drills or what ever task your coach is having you guys perform. If the practicews are fun and drill oriented, those themes should carry over in the game. Remember, when your winning, your having fun. So have fun with those around you and learn to like those around you and in the end, they will look up to you and will want to perform because your there. Welcome to the world of leadership.

-- Eric DuBois (, February 05, 1999.

As a team member you yourself must first prepare before even thinking of the rest of the team, if this does not occur you performance will drop. Then moving onto the entire team you need to give out the positive attitude you hold. You need to promote a sense of team pride and a will to win in order to motivate your team. Your team will be full of different personalities so do not force any one to participateas they may prepare in there own way, simply suggests things that may improve their game.

-- Chris Linehan (, February 11, 2000.

I think that you above all must be a role model, to your team, to the supporters and to your coach. I play football (soccer) and I try to be the best player I can be either in training or in a match situation, I am not the best sportsman in the world but I do try and that is always noticed and respected, that in my oppinion is how to be a role model. If your training is sufficient and performed in the correct manner with the team then I'm sure that the team will sucseed, and hopefully you will be noticed as a leader inside that team. Good luck anyway.

-- Jonny cross (, February 15, 2000.

Since you sound like you're the best player in the team, there are two main things for you to do. Firstly you must be friendly and on good terms with every member of the team, and the coach. They must respect you off the court before you can be a leader figure on the court. Secondly, as the best player, no one else should ever have the idea that you think you're better than them, even when you clearly are.

Once those are completed the rest of the team will need motivation to continue with post season. if they like you on a personal level that will be a small amount of motivation. The rest should come from fun, as suggested by another answer. One last thing that can make a huge difference is a goal. If the rest of the team has a goal as well, this will make the whole thing alot easier. There aren't to many things better than having fun whilst acheving a goal! but you'll have to think up the goal yourself. Good Luck!

-- Ben Mostafa (, March 24, 2000.

as an irish dancer who competes on team dances, i know how difficult it is to try to get everyone on the team up to their standards under pressure. my team of eight people went through a tough time last year, and only one person tried to get everyone in the right spirit. she tried very hard, but no one responded well. the results were not good. this past november, we competed again, and won against about twenty other teams. what really helped us was the fact that we had boosted our confidence immensely and everyone just put their hearts into it. my mom told me later that we looked like we were having the times of our lives out there on the stage. we also realized that the other teams were good, but we could be better. not necessarily were better, but could be. everyone gave it all they had, and the results were good. what you maybe need to do is just go out there and know that you can be better if you really want it. if you want to just go and have fun, realize that it isn't the end of the world if you don't perform as you thought you should have, but work harder to get it better next time. if you love what you are doing, you can be better than anyone, even if the results say otherwise.

-- Katie Connors (, June 27, 2000.

Self confidence is the key in your case as the team has the ability as you mentioned but chokes at the crunch time. Players in your team need to have self confidence as this will create decreased anxiety/ arousal at key points in the game. Anxiety at crunch points in the game is caused by stress as the demand of the situation is higher than the individuals percieved ability. By giving positive feedback about the individuals ability will create increased self confidence. -Other things you might like to try are - Simulation of pressure situations in practice as the individuals experience success and increase self confidence. -Imagery training -Concentration - use of concentration words -Arousal reduction techniques - Breathing control, cue words. -Team cohesion. -Goal setting - Set performance goals rather than outcome goals.

Here are a few techniques i have learned if you have any questions e mail back for more information.

-- Andrew Todd (, July 25, 2000.

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