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How to Improve Your Joy for Basketball

Joy all Basketball Season Long is a Choice!

Mid-season, joy for basketball can be lost through injury, bitterness toward teammates or coaches, losing, and other frustrating experiences. Great athletes choose joy all season long, regardless of the situation.  The greater your joy, the healthier, happier and more successful you will be. Joyful teams win games.  Joyful players hit more shots.

Here are ways to activate your joy on the court.

Be militant about your self-talk. Picture a room filled with treasure. What kind of security would be needed to keep that priceless treasure safe? Now picture your mind like that priceless treasure. Certain thoughts are going to try and rob you of your treasure.

  • Comparison thoughts— comparison is a thief which will rob your peace and confidence or will make you complacent and lazy.  Keep any comparison thoughts out.
  • Self-Punishment thoughts—this is a thief which will damage your skill and ability. If you make a mistake or fall short, acknowledge it briefly, be thankful and learn what you can, then move on. Do not let self-punishing thoughts reside in your mind after a mistake.
  • Jealousy thoughts—this thief will rob your joy. Envy and jealousy are two ways to destroy your own potential.  No one is taking your time, your moment, or future. Don’t’ give them that power. At NBC Camps we believe that when we seek God first, everything else will fall into the best place.
  • Remove blame. If you have blame in your mind, you are playing and living below your potential. Blame is always an indication of weakness.


Intentionally live in your joyful space.  Visualize a time you felt intense joy.  Where did you feel that emotion?  Go into that space and learn to access it quickly.  Visualize being in the shooter’s zone, picture what is going well. Joy is contagious and builds momentum the more you choose it.

Smile. As crazy as it sounds, people who were forced to smile all day, actually found they had more joy at the end of the day.  There is a mysterious connection between our smile and our mood.  Before a game, smile and will yourself into a grateful, happy state of mind. Bad moods affect your play. Also, those who say they play better when they are angry can never be great. Anger is a great immediate energizer for sure, but it is difficult to consistently sustain. Watch the NBA, those who rage, do not last. Joy can be sustained. 


A message for Basketball Coaches about Joy during the Season

As the leader of your team, you set the mood. You greatly influence the dynamics of your team. More than anything else, you dictate the tone.  Your players are watching what you say and even what you don't say. If you are fearful, angry, bitter, burnt out, this will come out in your coaching. Begin your day with gratitude. Choose joy during the game. When we say joy, we don't mean laughing on the bench, cutting jokes, etc.  We mean a deep profound joy that informs the decisions you make.  You can still be very intense, serious and focused while in the mindset of joy.  Coaches who have this internal joy for what they do are successful.  Find ways to delight in coaching. Your joy will be contagious.

NBC Basketball Camps

Improve your basketball and leadership skills this summer with NBC Basketball Camps. NBC (Nothing Beats Commitment) Basketball program has been running camps, travel teams, clinics and specialty basketball camps since 1971.  Located in 8 countries and over 60 cities, NBC has a program that fit your basketball improvement goals. If you love basketball enough to work hard, you need to be at NBC Basketball this summer.  Find out more at

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