Maintaining a "next play" mentality

Basketball is unique from other major sports with its non-stop action. It is important to keep your head up at all times.

In football, when the person with the ball gets tackled, you regroup and set up a new play to try again. After so many attempts, you either score or give up the ball to head to the sidelines for a while. In baseball, you strikeout or hit, then get a lengthy break.

Basketball is different.

If you miss a shot in basketball, you either need to attempt to rebound your own miss or be ready to sprint back on defense. There is not always time to regroup after a miss and especially not after a turnover.

Let's say you have back-to-back turnovers; is there time to hang your head and feel bad for yourself or feel embarrassed? I think you know where we are going with this.

Keep your head up and move on to the next play

Shooting slumps happen. Consecutive lapses in judgement happen. That is just part of the sport of basketball. When these things affect your mentality or your hustle, that is when you actually have a problem on your hands.

It may be tempting to hang your head when things are not going your way. There are a few big problems with that. Your teammates will see that and lose trust, your coach may see and pull you out, or the other team may see and gain confidence.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
— Michael Jordan

The best thing that you can do is instantly focus on the next play. Just stay in the zone and play the game that you have been practicing and practicing. If it results in a defensive stop, you will regain some confidence. If you work to get a layup, it may breed confidence in your shots from every range.

The "next play" mentality is relevant at all levels of the game. You will miss a lot of shots in your career, which will allow lots of opportunities to bounce back. Stay ready and seize those opportunities.