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Basketball Mental Aspects - Tuning Up
by Anthony B. Lanzillo

From the Coach’s Clipboard Basketball Playbook
"Helping coaches coach better..."

Tone Lanzillo is a mental prep coach to athletes who want to be mentally prepared to play their best game. He has worked with student-athletes, from middle school through high school and into college, in such sports as basketball, football, soccer and lacrosse. Over the past several years, he has written for a number of sports blogs and websites, including FirstDown Playbook, Coaches Training Room, Ultimate Hockey Source, and Lax Playbook.

Contact: Anthony B. Lanzillo

Like tuning a piano or getting a tune-up for the car, a basketball coach needs to invest a certain amount of time in helping his players get "mentally tuned up" for each practice and game. It's something that can't be done in one speech, a ten-minute presentation or during half-time of a game. This is a process that should begin with the first practice and carried out for the whole season.

In working with athletes and coaches, I have developed The Mental Tune-Up as a 90-day journal that provides a series of quotes and questions to prompt the players to learn and develop different mental skills, and thereby be mentally prepared to play their best game. Here are three days from this journal that can help your players to be mentally stronger and sharper for game-time.

Day 2

Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan

"He was going to be a great player, Loughery thought, not just because of the talent and the uncommon physical assets but because he loved the game. That love could not be coached or faked, and it was something he always had. He was joyous about practices, joyous about games, as if he could not wait for either. Not many players had the kind of love...Jordan's love of what he did was real, and it was a huge advantage."
David Halberstam - Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made

"You can learn to love something if you make an effort to focus on the aspects of that activity that please you, thinking over and over again about how much you enjoy them."
Bob Rotella - How Champions Think

What do I love and enjoy about playing basketball?

Day 8

Coach Bob Hurley
Coach Bob Hurley

"Hurley's practices are played to the minute, one drill leading into the next lesson, teaching and teaching and teaching. Everything has a distinct purpose."
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle Of St. Anthony

"Purpose provides the ultimate glue that can help you stick to the path you've set."
Gary Keller - The One Thing

What is the purpose of each exercise and drill that I do in practice? What is the purpose of practice?

Day 21

Coach Phil Jackson
Coach Phil Jackson

"This is what is meant by right action: the capacity to observe what's happening and act appropriately, without being distracted by self-centered thoughts. If we rage and resist, our angry, fearful minds have trouble quieting down sufficiently to allow us to act in the most beneficial way for ourselves and others."
Phil Jackson - Sacred Hoops

"When we lose control of our emotions, we aren't thinking anymore, we are worrying... When we worry, our minds are not paying attention to the reality of the moment, and making good decisions can be very difficult, since important information is not being recognized and considered..."
Craig Manning - The Fearless Mind

How can I learn to control my emotions and stay focused in a game?

If you are a basketball coach would like to know more about The Mental Tune-Up, drop Coach Lanzillo an email.

Copyright 2015, Anthony B. Lanzillo

Contact: Anthony B. Lanzillo

Related page: Basketball Mental Prep Playbook