Confident Basketball Players Have These 5 Characteristics

basketball mindset Apr 03, 2021
confident basketball player

The Confident Basketball Player:

“Shoot with confidence! Don’t hesitate! Believe in yourself!” These are common phrases that basketball players hear. 

“Be more confident.” But how?  

Improving confidence is one of the most common desires for basketball players, but the process of improving confidence is rarely explained past something along the lines of “just be it.”

In this two part series on basketball confidence, I’m going to share some tips with you on how to be a more confident basketball player. Here in part one, I’m going to talk about the characteristics of a confident basketball player -- the traits that all confident players have.  

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Because before you go about improving your confidence as a basketball player, it’s important to first understand what a confident player even looks like. What the mindset is of a confident player -- how a confident player thinks, and reacts and what they believe in.

And once you understand the mindset of a confident basketball player, you can then start working to become that player. You can identify the exact areas of the confident mindset that you need to take on in order to become more confident yourself.  

Again, in order to be a confident basketball player, you have to think and act like a confident basketball player. 

So here are 5 words that describe how confident players think and act.



The first trait that all confident basketball players share is work ethic. All confident basketball players spend a lot of time practicing and working to improve their skills. 

Confidence comes as a by-product of hard work.

Player A: shoots 50 jump shots a day

Player B: Shoots 500 jump shots a day

Which one is going to be more confident? Obviously Player B because not only will that player be a better shooter from all those repetitions, but that player will have more belief that they can shoot well and that they deserve to shoot well since they’ve spent so much time practicing.

Naturally, the more time you spend in the gym working on your game, the more confident you will be.

Which leads into the next characteristic which I just alluded to. 



When you spend a lot of time working on your game, you start to feel like you deserve to be a successful basketball player. You start to feel like you deserve to be great. And you start to feel like you deserve to be confident.

And of course you deserve it, you’ve worked your tail off. You’ve earned the success. You’ve earned the greatness. You’ve earned the confidence.

If you don’t work that hard, deep down you know that you don’t really deserve these things. Confident basketball players know that they deserve to be confident.



The confident basketball player has belief in himself or herself and full trust in his or her abilities. You have to believe in your shooting ability, in your ballhandling ability, your passing ability, your defensive abilities, and so on.

If you don’t believe in your basketball abilities, then that means you have doubt in your abilities, and if you have a lot of doubt in your abilities, well then quite simply you aren’t going to play with confidence.

And because the confident player has belief, that means that they don’t need anyone else to constantly tell them they are good in order to play confidently. They already have that belief deep down. They are confident based on their own belief. They don’t rely on other people praising them in order to be confident.



Playing basketball with confidence involves playing without fear... without fear of making a mistake, without fear of missing a shot or making a bad play. 

And because of this lack of fear, the confident player wants to take clutch shots. “I want this shot because I trust my ability to hit this. I deserve to take this shot because of all the work I’ve put in.”

The confident player wants the ball in their hands because they trust in their ability to succeed and they are not afraid of the outcome.



Finally, the confident basketball player is decisive. There is no hesitation. 

And this really ties into the previous point about fear, because hesitation is a result of fear. When you play without fear, you aren’t afraid to make a wrong decision or make a mistake. And therefore, you do not hesitate.

You take action. 

Confident players take action, whether that ends up being the right or wrong action. Whether or not the play they make is successful or not. Whether the shot they take goes in or it doesn’t. The confident player commits to a decision and executes that decision to the best of their ability.  


Summing it up:

These are 5 characteristics that all confident basketball players have. These beliefs make up the mindset of a confident basketball player.

The confident basketball player works hard, has belief in himself/herself, feels deserving, is fearless, and acts decisively.

You now have the blueprint of a confident player and can identify exactly what areas of your mindset you need to improve in order to play basketball with more confidence.  

More articles by Basketball Mindset Training:

• How to Boost Your Confidence in Basketball | 10 Tips  >>

• The Complete Guide to Getting in the Zone in Basketball >>

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