Becoming a Crunch Time
“Crunch Time” is that point in a basketball game where any one or two plays can make the difference in a ball game. When a player can repeatedly perform in crunch time producing positive results for their team they are often referred to as “clutch.” Some examples of the most clutch basketball players in the history of the game include all time greats such as Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller, and Kevin Durant. These players are known for keeping a cool head in pressure situations and all have similar characteristics in their game that any young player can emulate. Below are these similar qualities:
Practice for Basketball Pressure Situations:
The best crunch time players ensure that they are prepared for pressure situations that they will face at the end of a close game. They practice time and time again on their best moves that they will use when the ball is in their hands and their team needs a bucket. Additionally, they have an extensive imagination. What is meant by this is that when clutch players are practicing their game, they picture several different scenarios in their minds of when they would have the opportunity to make the game winning shot for their team. Then, they go out and execute these scenarios so that when that time comes they will be ready to win the game for their team. Michael Jordan, perhaps the most clutch player we have seen play knows that practicing for these situations makes for a more realistic opportunity to perform better in them. He is quoted saying, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” These are simple words that carry huge meaning.
Eliminate Fear from Your Basketball Game:
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Here is another quote from Jordan signifying that you will never be able to perform your best if you are intimidated by the situation you are in. The players that often are able to succeed in pressure situations in a basketball game are the ones that are confident their abilities to do so. Rather than seeing fear in the situation and worrying about what things could go wrong if they miss the game winning shot, they visualize success and seize the opportunity.
Being confident with the ball in your hands in crunch time is half the battle, the other half is executing. If you know you are capable of handling the task at hand, and aren’t afraid to fail, the rest will come easy.
Gain Your Basketball Coach’s Confidence:
You will rarely get the opportunity to become a crunch time player if your coach isn’t confident in your performance at the end of games. The coach will always draw up the last second play for the player that they feel most confident in to make the big play. For you to earn a shot at being this player for your coach, you need to show that you are made for situations like these. In practice display to your coach that you have a knack for making shots under pressure. When you are in a tie ball game with two minutes left in the game, ensure that you make smart decisions that can best help your team win. When your coach sees that you are capable of handling crunch time, they will give you the opportunity to be a clutch player.
Keys to Performing in Crunch Time Summary:
- Practice like a clutch player
- Visualize success
- Prove to your coach you can handle the pressures of a close ball game and learn to relish becoming a crunch time basketball player