How to Focus Under Pressure in Big Games


How Lebron James Gives 100% at Game Time

The Cavaliers clinched Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors with a score of 105-103 in the 2018 Playoffs. With only eight seconds left, James took charge and sunk a shot just feet from the Raptors’ bench.

In response to that game-winner, James said:

“Tie game, down one. I live for those moments.”

James then opened up and said he’s been doing that since he was a kid in Pampers. He has imagined himself taking those big shots since he could pick up a basketball.

Korver commented on James’ performance and said that he sees him doing shots like those, those “big moment” shots, in practice or when he’s just shooting around.

Korver said that he always wonders why he shoots those kinds of shots…

Well, he does it to prepare himself… to win big games, playoff games.

Some athletes are not willing to go 100% in practice, or even put forth much effort. They slide through practice and go through the motions.

This Mindset Doesn’t Help Players Improve Mentally or Physically

These athletes continuously perform around the same level, maybe 60-70% because practice wasn’t seen as important as competition.

The secret is that you are going to practice way more than you will ever compete, in any sport, and you will play exactly like you practice.

Anything you plan to do in a game or competition, you need to practice in practice. Whether it’s a physical skill, like hitting a game-winner, or a mental skill, such as staying in the present.

It would be difficult to try and give 100% in a game if you don’t practice giving 100%.

Also, you might struggle to score in games like you’ve imagined if those situations aren’t practiced.

Even if you just want to be able to trust your skills and play with confidence in competition, you have to practice that when you train.

As James expressed, he’s been working on those types of shots since he started playing basketball. He doesn’t always have an opportunity to execute, but when he does, he’s prepared because he’s rehearsed it in practice.

Remember, how you play in competition is a direct result of the way you practice. Be prepared for those pressure moments and situations.

Practice how you want to play!

Learn how to focus your best under pressure with The Focused Athlete audio and workbook program!

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