Brian Baxter’s tips for the mental game

Brian Baxter is the director of Sports Psychology Institute Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and says:

“Take time to reflect on the team’s mission statement, goals and performance, and to update the goals for the postseason. Make sure to celebrate improvements and successes together, but refocus attention and energy in the new goals. Clarify players’ roles in so that everyone has clear expectations.”

The role and expectations are critical now. You most likely aren’t going deep into your bench, so your 9th, 10th and 11th players need to feel part of this program, especially because they’ve been contributing all season. Continue to value the work they do in practice and have individual talks with each of them about how their roles may be changing, they always must be ready to perform on the court due to foul trouble or injuries. They need to remain focused and if their contributions simply come down to keeping the bench energized, then they need to have the bench intensity in game, says Baxter.

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