I once heard NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas say that the major difference between the NBA superstar (of which there are never more than 5-8 at a time) and the league’s All-Stars (there are 24 of them every season) is confidence: that the superstar has no doubt that he’s the best player out there.
It’s not a skill thing.
Many All-Star players earn maximum-salary contracts (the highest possible salary, given the rules at that time, he could possibly make), with good reason: they’re all damned good at basketball.
Only a few of those All-Stars qualify as Superstars, though.
It’s not because the superstars work harder.
A lot of players have the challenge of being unable to get to their competitive peak when they most need it. Despite the fact that they want to, they can’t seem to get there when it’s most needed.
Some call it performance anxiety. I call it a lack of Mental Game preparation.
The best players approach every game with an aggressive mindset. It’s a mindset of,
I’m the best player on this court. No one out here can mess with me. I’ll dominate anyone who comes against me.
This is the aggressive mindset that the superstars in any sport have.
If you refuse to accept this approach, or find yourself unable to adopt this mindset, you will find yourself losing to people that aren’t close to your skill level.
In sports, you have to go out there and compete. And, mindset is, at minimum, five times more important than skill.
The best players, those who dominate every single game they play, they don’t need to feel good to give their best every game.
Not every game is exciting to them. They could get away with a half-assed effort for a game or two every now and then.
But those superstars go out there and perform every game anyway.
Because that’s why they’re here; that’s what made them superstars: dominating at every opportunity.
Practice your mental game same way you practice your physical game.