Breakthrough Basketball Newsletter:
How To Develop The Mindset Of An Elite Basketball Player

September 6th, 2022

I came across an interesting video on TikTok and Twitter.

It featured a mindset coach talking about what it takes to become an elite learner.

And although it had nothing to do with basketball, my wheels began to turn. Because I knew that there were ways to make that information relevant to the sport.

So, I reached out to a colleague of mine and asked him for his assessment of the information and how it related to basketball in his mind.

The following article was born from his thoughts.


How To Develop The Mindset Of An Elite Basketball Player

Here were the thoughts shared in the video...

"Elite learners use mistakes as feedback.

They take these mistakes seriously but never personally.

An elite basketball player also approaches skill building with a certain attitude.

He or she realizes that building skills take time and effort. Therefore, they stay tenaciously persistent when it comes to their personal development.

When it comes to mistakes...

They embrace discomfort as a natural part of the process because mistakes aren't failures. They are a necessary part of the learning process.

They also seek feedback from coaches, because the outside opinion of a knowledgeable expert can help them correct issues that they might not see on their own.

That's the mindset of a baller who's looking to get better every day."

Some of you may know our lead camp instructor Charlie Miller. Charlie is a former All-American who played for Bobby Knight at Indiana University.

Here's Coach Charlie's take on the topic...

Yes, I agree, Joe.

A mistake is a "miss-take."

The objective of learning, especially complex concepts and skills, is to first learn how to embrace the adversity that will come with the difficult learning curves to keep players engaged and excited about their desired development.

In my humble opinion, that's a learning lesson all to itself, first.

Teaching Method - 3 Steps To Develop Athletes and How To Use Mistakes Properly

Here's an example of the teaching method I (Charlie Miller) use daily.

The Spot System is a simple, 3-step corrective action system that can be implemented by coaches.

  1. Blind Spots: Help players identify their weaknesses.

    A mistake happens (repeatedly and usually unconsciously) and the coach brings it to the player's attention.
  2. Sweet Spots: Help players embrace and overcome adversity through deliberate and focused practice and concentration, instilling confidence.

    Player performs the skill with mistakes (pushing boundaries on purpose). Player continues to perform the skill incorrectly (on purpose) until the player has improved the skill or mastered a new skill. This is the epitome of redirecting the player's behavior and creating a new habit.
  3. Bright Spots: Allow players to maximize their creativity and discovery through practice and game performance.

    Player independently does skill correctly with newfound confidence and courage earned through Sweet Spots practice.

This system was created to help players recognize and embrace their mistakes and then stay engaged through their growth struggles. The name of the game is meaningful progress in measurable time, which can then be applied to everything they do.

"How we do anything is how we do everything." - Anonymous


Charlie Miller

Now that you've seen a few perspectives on the subject, you no longer have to guess what it takes to develop an elite basketball player's mindset.

You just have to commit to embracing the mindset and making it a part of your approach.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on mindset and how to coach mistakes. You can leave your comments on the article here.

Coach Matt Keeley - Wins Conference and Earns College Nat'l Tourney Appearance in Just 2nd Year With Their Own Gymnasium!

In just their 2nd year of having their own basketball facility, Coach Matt Keeley and the OUAZ Spirit already won the GSAC Conference Championship and earned a trip to the NAIA National Tournament! Amazing work!

Coach Keeley is a Breakthrough Camps Instructor and was an integral part of developing the Elite Skills and Playmaking Camp for Breakthrough Basketball!

Customer Feedback - 12-Week Athletic Development Program

Recently, we've had lots of glowing reviews come in about our Athletic Development program by Cody Roberts.

Here are a few of them...

"Good varied exercises. Instructions are simple enough that my 14-year-old can navigate the workout on her own. Video links for each exercise are great."
- Deborah, Shawnee, KS

"How clear it shows what to do. It tells you exactly what to do on what days and has nice videos showing you how to do them. I love it!"
- Joseph B., Clymer, NY

- Timothy M., Port Edwards, WI

Interested in learning more about the training?

Click here.