What happened this week you ask? Well I have spent the entire weekend asking myself the same question.
The Killer Bees were extinguished last Friday night by our rivals, the Pierson Whalers. And what a tough loss it was. One, because it’s never a good feeling when you lose. Yes, someone must always lose, but you never go into the game thinking that it could be you. Two, because, like it or not, they are our friends. We not only grew up playing baseball, soccer and P.A.L. together, but with the shared sports program offered, we often play together on the same teams. Except for basketball. If you did not know, boys basketball is Bridgehampton’s only Section 11 sport that is not in the shared sports program. Hence the friendly rivalry.
Back to how I spent the majority of my weekend: mentally recapping Friday’s game. We are a good team that has at times proven to be unstoppable, and at others has not come to play. I am hoping that slump ends here and we pull together to blow the second half of this season out of the water. But in order to do this, we MUST come to play.
I read that basketball is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. I don’t know how exact those numbers are but I can tell you this, if you become rattled in a game, let an official/opponent upset you, or are unable to focus on your coach’s game plan, then you are not in control of your game, and in comes the sixth man.
Mental control before a game comes in different forms for different players. Some choose to zone out, I choose to hype myself up, and others choose something in between. Whatever your poison, find one that works for you and stick to it! This game we love is not only fast-paced, but extremely emotional, and plays are made at a minute’s notice, which makes it easy to lose your concentration. Also, being passionate is a good thing, but when you lose your temper, one’s passion can easily spiral out of control.
Playing under control is a must for all players. Teams that have a player who goes to the bucket every time may put up the points and in the end may have his numbers, but the team as a whole loses. Seeing the bigger picture and objective as a player is one form of controlling your game. One of the most difficult lessons is the realization that no one is perfect. You are going to miss free throws, or make defensive mistakes, but to recognize when you are not playing well and having the ability to make adjustments shows that you indeed can control your game. If you take yourself out of the game mentally, be prepared to be taken out physically. Fulfill your role and position and the entire team wins.
Every single player on the roster has an important role that only he/she can fill. From point guard to subs, never underestimate or overestimate your value. My tips for playing under control? Focus on the task at hand and on what you can control. You can control your aggression, you can find the open player, move the ball down the court and protect it in the process.
Come and join us Friday night when we host Greenport in the Hive at 6 p.m.!