Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lanny Bassham and the Directive Affirmation

My good friend and head golf coach at Concordia turned me on to this great book. Lanny Bassham outlines the mental approaches he took in order to become a world class rifle shooter. The book is a very easy read, but extremely valuable in content.

I remember going to summer basketball camp and watching a Bob Knight video where Coach Knight says, "The mental is to the physical as four is to one." If this is true, we as coaches do not spend enough time on the most important part of the game: The Mental Game.

Bassham outlines the Directive Affirmation in his book. I implemented the Directive Affirmation with my post players this past season. The result was increased self confidence and performance. Here are the steps in the Directive Affirmation:

STEP 1: Define the goal.
STEP 2: Set a time limit; best results in 21 days and 9 days off.
STEP 3: List the personal pay-value of reaching this goal.
STEP 4: Outline the plan to achieve the goal.
STEP 5: Write a Directive Affirmation in the first person present tense, beginning with the word "I". State the goal as if you already are in possession of it. List the pay-value and the plan outline. Restate the goal. Date the paragraph with the target date.
STEP 6: In your own handwriting, make five copies on note cards.
STEP 7: Place the cards in five prominent places such as bathroom mirrors, refrigerators, computer screens, etc... (These locations are what Bassham calls Key Points).
STEP 8: Read and visualize your Directive Affirmation each time you come to a Key Point

An example of a Directive Affirmation for a player wanting to be a better free-throw shooter would look something like this:
11/1/09. I am the best free-throw shooter on my team. I start each game and enjoy the chance to help my team win by making free-throws. I always run a mental program before each shot and reinforce each successful basket by saying, "That's like me!" Also, I record my performance analysis and read and visualize my Directive Affirmation daily. I am the best free-throw shooter on my team.

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