Mental Toughness for Defensive Success

While the presence of mental toughness is certainly not enough to guarantee a championship, the lack of mental toughness is almost certainly a guarantee against one.

Put in Spencer Wood‘s words, “Lack of mental toughness is guaranteed to cost you a championship.”

Of course, not all of us are on the heels of a championship, but lack of mental toughness can cost you other things as well: a winning season, a victory over a rival, a unified team… perhaps even your coaching sanity.

Mental toughness is a character trait that your players will need long after they hang up their extra-baggy basketball shorts. If for no other reason than improving your players’ character, mental toughness is a required curriculum.

It’s difficult to define what mental toughness means, though.

Is it perseverance? Commitment? Performance consistency or big game preparation? Is it focus or does it just come down to hard work?

How do you actually improve mental toughness (in basketball and in life) if you can’t put your finger on what it actually means?

Well, you can’t, which is why Spencer Wood defines it for us in the video below. This video is an excerpt from Better Basketball’s Dynamic Defense – a total basketball defensive curriculum… complete with levels.

Talent always chases self belief. That’s my favorite take away from that 7-minute clip. It’s so true and it’s something we all need to work on.

I’ll leave you with an anonymous quote: “It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.”

2 comments

  1. The mental aspect of both sides of the ball are essential to increased success. This was something that was not taught to me during my formative playing years. I introduced basic mental toughness concepts with my team this passed season and it had a positive impact on both sides of the ball. I am glad to see a complete section of the new Dynamic Defense dedicated to this topic.

  2. Same here. I was TOLD to be mentally tough, but no one ever defined it for me, much less give me the tools to get better at it.

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