Becoming a well-rounded basketball player isn't just about skill; it's about passion for the game. While aggression in your regular life might be looked down upon, aggression on the court acts as a funnel for your energy and skills to take center stage. While you should never intentionally instigate fights and other issues on the court, healthy aggression can give you the upper hand. Just make sure it's coming from the right source, so you can harness aggression as a skill rather than a weakness.
Repeat mantras and confidence-building quotes to help build your mental toughness. While aggression is a physical expression, it starts in the head. As you build up your confidence and get amped for the game, that mental toughness shows up in your plays on the court. Adopt a few words as your personal motto and use it to become more aggressive throughout the game.
Play like a professional, even if you're just in a community or school league. The trick to making your aggression work for you on the court is to play without exception and as though every game is for all the money. When the stakes are higher, your adrenaline kicks in to help you play more aggressively. Imagine each game is a life-changer and you'll naturally play more aggressively.
Own your mistakes on the court. Even the best of the best don't play perfect games every time. You're bound to make a mistake, whether it's a weak pass or an out-of-control dribble. Regardless, the most aggressive players own their mistakes and move on. Dwelling over minor mishaps can result in a major lack of confidence.
Take the extra shot and make an extra effort. If you miss a shot, work like crazy to get the rebound and shoot again. That's one of benefits of basketball; there's usually time for a second chance. Turn on the aggression switch and make it right by trying a second and third time.
Initiate necessary physical contact, but only with a purpose. It's important to remember that basketball is meant to be a contact sport, so some bumping and shoving is to be expected. But using your aggression wisely means using contact to your advantage, such as a shoulder screen or a well-placed elbow when driving up the court. Of course, unnecessary roughness could be called as a foul, so make sure your aggression has a direction.
- Talk with your coach on being more aggressive. Learning new skills and honing your strengths can give you more confidence and aggression during game play.
Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.