Basketball – The “Mind Set” to Master Freethrow Shooting

In reference to free throw shooting, it is really ironic that in a way the ‘mindset’ in shooting efficiency is a lot similar to the ‘mindset’ in achieving goals in life. Shooting at goals and setting goals have a lot in common.

Understanding the ‘mind’ and its operations in general is a very difficult chore. To ‘control’ the mind and to direct it towards materializing your wishes or desires is a major process and may even require some maturation.

What I hate about the ‘mind’ is that I can’t understand my mind and all of its operations and capacities. My mind actually comprehends ME. What makes up my mind is ME, so I better be careful what enters my mind. You have heard the maxim by James Allen “As a man thinketh, so is he”. Repeat that 100 times today.

The ‘mind’ and the brain are 2 separate entities. The ‘Mind’ collectively refers to the aspects of the intellect and consciousness manifested as combinations of thought, perception, memory, will, imagination and even emotion. The ‘mind’ is a constant stream of consciousness.
All of the above aspects except emotion are involved in free-throw shooting. Actually I believe that emotion is involved to a certain extent in the process but it should not be since a ball does not recognize color, race, gender, age, height, or even emotions during the process of being shot. The mind includes all of the brain’s conscious processes. The thought process of reason is another major factor of the ‘mind’. Bear in mind though that becoming emotional during a shot can definitely affect the final result. Choking has emotional overtones and will be discussed in a future article.

Edgar Cayce once stated and this fits perfectly into the shooting mould,

“…if there is intense study of how the MIND is indeed the builder, it will see that what is held in the act of mental vision becomes reality in the material experience”.

Mind thoughts fit into 2 categories:
1. Simulations of future scenarios using existing insights in the mind model in order to predict outcomes.
2. Analysis of past experience with the purpose of gaining insight for use within this model at a later date.
As you can see from the first category, we want a better future outcome (basketball shooting efficiency and consistency), by using insights, accumulated knowledge, and our reasoning ability to predict future outcomes for free throw shooting accuracy and 3 pointers as well. Actually your future predictions of excellence or even perfection from the charity stripe become foregone conclusions.

To further clarify the meaning of the ‘mind’ for the basketball world, it is safe to say it is synonymous with “thought”. It is that private conversation that we carry on inside our skulls.” This is how we in essence ‘make up our minds’, or ‘change our minds’ or more specifically tell ourselves what we need to do at the moment we shoot the ball, and this mainly relates to controlling bodily movement of the finer muscles responsible for accurate shooting (exact muscles will be covered in future Ebook). This is definitely a ‘mind over matter’ procedure and all of this has to take place within the blink of an eye.

‘Thought’ is a mental process whereby the ‘mind’ allow  yalla shoot s you to model or duplicate actions or movements of other shooters, etc, whether good or bad (muscle memory). The thinking process involves cerebral manipulation of information, as when one forms concepts, engages in problem solving, reasoning and/or making decisions. How long does it take you to figure out that you are a poor free throw shooter if you shoot around 70%, and how long before you recognize that you need to do something about it? Notice how your thought process is active but it all depends on what you do with that ‘thought’.

Part of your consciousness is the quality of the mind that is responsible for self-awareness and the ability to perceive the relationship between yourself and your environment. Imagine yourself doing a jump shot, while being bumped from the side, body twisted, your left hand is off the ball which is resting on the right about to be released and you have an athletic ‘post player’ ready to block your seemingly difficult shot, and you must take into consideration all these elements while having to concentrate on all the factors on the shot release ( another chapter or article) and all this has to be done under one second. Oh, how I love the ‘mind’ and its incalculable capacity and how much we take it for granted.

Bruce Lee, the great martial artist who died very young at the peak of his career said this ” Knowledge is not enough; we must apply, willing is not enough; we must do”.

Knowledge without application of the new information is not knowledge. They must marry to be effective. I find that players reach their peak which is usually average and then they stagnate or plateau and never get better. They have the capacity to improve but unless they seek new knowledge and apply new principles (“Smartball Shooting System” by Ed Palubinskas, then mediocrity dominates.

Perfection in free throw shooting is attainable but it is very difficult to accomplish with just natural ability. Scientific principles and natural laws must be adhered to, combined with natural ability to achieve a superior level of shooting excellence.

It is common knowledge that humans in general operate at 7-10% of mental capacity. This means that we are leaving about 90% of our potential on the table. This is inconceivable to me and should be unacceptable by all mankind. If I was created in God’s image, I wonder how He feels about me wasting any of the God given ability that He blessed me with. Could that be considered stealing? Scary thought, huh?


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