By Madisen Carter
Unlimited Potential Basketball is happy to announce that we will be hosting a Mental Skills Training Camp in August, brought to you by Coach Packie Turner and Graham Betchart of the Sacramento Kings! In this camp, Packie and Graham will teach the foundational mental skills that athletes can then take with them to practice at home and improve their skills every single day. These skills will not only benefit athletes in their game, but also in their everyday life.
At UPBasketball we help athlete's understand how to play present and discover their personal greatness on the court and in life. Mental training provides a skillset to deal with high pressure situations and build mental toughness. This type of training is just like any other skill set, it is not a quick fix and is developed with daily practice, and we plan to give athletes the tools they need to be successful early on in their basketball careers.
“Mental skills are just like physical skills. The earlier you start practicing them, the better, so this is proactive mental skills training. Our goal is to introduce it to the kids really early in life so they can start practicing and get better at it,” Betchart said. “This is some of the most important stuff in life. I mean, not only does this help on the court, of course, with performance and all that good stuff, but these are life skills. This stuff helps you in school, helps you with your work, with your family, [and with] your relationships.”
Betchart has been a Mental Skills Coach for 20 years, and has worked with many NBA athletes including Denver Nuggets star, Aaron Gordon, and teams such as the Utah Jazz. He got into mental training as a 19-year-old during his first year of college basketball. When he realized that he was struggling during the season and was feeling anxious, he reached out for help and was introduced to mental training.
Betchart said that mental training completely changed his life, and when he went back onto the court after incorporating what he had learned, he felt happy again and present. He understands how powerful mental training is in his life, and he wants to share what he knows with athletes of all ages. Currently, Betchart is the Mental Skills Coach for the Sacramento Kings, and he said within the nine months he has been working with the players, he has already seen a difference in their game as they have incorporated mental training in their routines.
“It's the most beautiful thing to see when you see a player work on what we call ‘Next Play Speed', that ability to move forward after you make a mistake or you go through adversity or challenges,” Betchart said. “When you see a player telling themselves ‘Hey, so what next play,’ and then they move forward, and you see that resiliency coming out, you see that mental toughness coming out, it feels amazing. When you watch someone unlock themselves and they stop limiting themselves, they start to do these mental skills and they move forward.”
That is what UPBasketball, Packie and Betchart want to accomplish with the Mental Training Camp. On Saturday, August 12th, there will be three different Mental Training Camps. There will be an all girls group at 11AM-12:30PM, an all boys group from 1-2:30PM and a session for coaches and parents at 3-4:30PM.
In the camp, athletes will learn about meditation, visualization, positive self talk, and have a film study. There will be on-court drills to apply what is learned and games! Athletes will be left with a PDF version of Betchart's book, Play Present, and a three month membership to Train the Mind, Betchart's online training program.You can click here to learn more about the Mental Training Camp and to sign up! You can also click here to learn more about Mental Skills Coach Graham Betchart.