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The Mentally Tough Player

By Spencer Wood, USA Basketball , 08/10/17, 4:00PM CDT

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SOME COACHES AND PLAYERS BELIEVE MENTAL TOUGHNESS IS ALL ABOUT HOW HARD WE COMPETE AND PUSH OURSELVES, WHILE OTHERS BELIEVE THAT MENTAL TOUGHNESS IS MORE ABOUT HOW WELL WE PERFORM UNDER PRESSURE

If you asked almost any middle school, high school, collegiate and professional coach to name the one basketball skill or character trait that is THE MOST important to the future success of a player, and most benefits the team that the player is on, many coaches (if not most) will tell you “the most valuable attribute a player can have is Mental Toughness.”

Having mental toughness does not guarantee a team a championship, but a lack of mental toughness IS guaranteed to cost a team a championship or an opportunity to compete for a championship.  Mental toughness is arguably the one attribute that most often determines the outcome of games, particularly in the critical pressure-filled crucible of post-season play.  Yet despite all of the discussion about how important mental toughness is in the game of basketball, mental toughness often means so many different things to so many different coaches and to so many different athletes. 

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