Great scorers (and great players) have worked so hard, practiced so much, and are so confident in their game that they don't have to stop and think about what
to do when they're out on the court. They make things happen, and make it look easy.
So, how do you develop concentration and focus? Practice. Work at it every day. Work on your shot: practice shooting hundreds and hundreds of jumpers so you
are confident in knocking down the shot, even with a defender draped all over you. Also, become a great ball-handler. You should work at dribbling the ball
until you become a totally confident ball handler, able to drive the ball with quickness (and blow past your defender) while being under control.
Also, walk out onto the court with unshakeable confidence. Believe, and I mean really believe, that you are unstoppable. Believe that when you lift up for a
jumper, or drive down the lane, the shot is going to go in. Then make it happen.
Basketball isn't about thinking, it's about doing. Put in the time and effort to groove your shot, develop your confidence, and practice enough against good
competition so that when you take the floor in a game, you're ready to go. You're ready to take it to the opposition. You're ready to dominate.
Then go out and make your defender wish he was guarding someone else. Make your teammates happy they passed you the ball (because you take good shots, and get
them good shots when your shot isn't there). Make your coach happy he put you in the game because you play the game the right way, you take it to the
opposition, and you win games.
Have you ever sat courtside at an NBA game? It's an interesting experience. You see some of the best athletes in the world taking it at each other, play after
play. And the one thing that stands out most after watching an NBA game from close proximity is the amazing athletic ability of the players (which sometimes
gets lost when watching games on TV), and the incredible level of concentration it takes to play at that level.
A guy will catch the ball on the wing, make an explosive dribble by his defender, cross-over to avoid the weak side help, pull up in the lane, get bumped on
his way up for the shot, and lift a soft jumper over the outstretched arm of a 7-footer coming over for the block. And, if they are a good player, they'll
knock down the shot (after all of that action). Bottom line: they finish the play because they are focused.
In 3 or 4 seconds, a player will make 6 or 7 moves, all with quickness, aggressiveness, and confidence. Above all, though, this kind of play takes supreme
focus and concentration. Great players are focused, and great players finish plays. Period.
Practice against good competition. Work on finishing plays. Work on building your concentration and focus. It'll set you apart from the competition.
Patrick Chylinski is a former college and professional basketball player. He is now a private success coach based in Los Angeles. His website: www.basketballsuccess.com has tips for basketball players on how to improve the mental and physical aspects of their game.