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Basketball Tournament Advice

If you are fortunate enough to head to basketball tournament time, here is some key advice.

Renovate your story—if your team has always lost in the first round of tournament, renovate this story. Begin to tell a new story. Picture a new outcome. You have to get out of the script so that your body and brain don’t recreate what they already know. Don’t tell people or have anyone say, “Our team always loses the first round.” Don’t tell negative stories or failure stories. Keep yourself, your family, your community, school, team focused on speaking the positive.

Act like a dynasty team.  Research on dynasty teams show that players and coaches with a dynasty program expect to win. They don’t hope to win. They expect it. They have broken through the glass ceiling. They know the way and they don’t fear the path.

Stay Hungry and Humble.  Nothing robs great teams of their future more than arrogance and apathy. One team in the tournament purposely wore lower level gear to lull their opponent into believing they were a pushover. In the opening of the game, this underwhelming team would full court press and dominate to the surprise of the cocky team. Finding a much tougher opponent than they imagined, the cocky team began to be more concerned. Please note this ruse only works if you truly are a dominant team.

Avoid asking the question, “What if.”  Treat it like you would a glass of poison. You would never drink a glass of poison, likewise, never allow any imaginative flights of the “what if” temptation either in fear or grandeur to enter your mind. Stay focused in the here and now.

Keep positive.  The more foreclosed and negative your team becomes, the less options they begin to see. Optimism and gratitude keep teams in the creative problem solving mindset. In the game, stay out of the negative. Keep your bench cheering and active.

What to do if your team starts falling apart.

If you start to get pummeled in the game, have a plan to regroup.  Here are the best ways to handle the game if the other team is starting to dominate.

1. Huddle the team and make a commitment to lock down the defense and secure every rebound. Make rebounding a life and death pursuit.
2. Work to get into the paint, your percentages go up and you could get a put back.
3. Try and keep the ball in your possession longer. Transitions are mentally tough. If you immediately cork a three and miss, your team now has to run down and play defense before you get another opportunity to score.
4. The fourth quarter comes down to mental toughness.  Big blow outs in the fourth quarter come down to inexperienced players in leadership. Great leaders know how to increase intensity, decrease mistakes and stress, and get the ball where it matters.  You can renovate your leadership by the regulation of your mind. If your thoughts are scattered, your play will be scattered.  If your thoughts are strong and focused, your body will follow.

Good luck in the tournament!

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NBC Basketball focuses not only on the skill development of campers and coaches but also on the proven psychological truths and insights to give teams the compeititve edge. NBC Basketball offers summer camps, team camps, pure shooting camps, travel teams and more.  NBC stands for Nothing Beats Commitment and the belief that a person's daily habits reveal their future.  For more information about NBC Basketball visit

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