Boosting Basketball Performance with Sport Psychology

Basketball Coach Applying Sport Psychology

In the realm of competitive basketball, the psychological readiness of players is as crucial as their physical abilities.

Read more: Boosting Basketball Performance with Sport Psychology

A compelling study titled “Sport psychology in coaching: Improving the personality traits and thinking skills of basketball players” by Ming-Yu Zhou, published in Thinking Skills and Creativity, Volume 46, 2022, brings forth the transformative power of integrating sport psychology principles in coaching.

The Intersection of Sport Psychology and Coaching

The study underscores the positive impact that sport psychology can have on the psychological fitness and tactical thinking skills of basketball players. By applying sport psychology recommendations, coaches can significantly enhance players’ overall performance, moving beyond the traditional focus on physical training alone.

Methodology: Measuring Tactical Thinking and Psychological Fitness

The research involved 96 student basketball players, divided into control and exposed groups. The Tactical Thinking Skills (TTS) and the Sport Mental Toughness Questionnaire (SMTQ) were used as measurement tools. The study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a team coach’s program, designed in line with sport psychology principles, in improving players’ tactical thinking and psychological fitness.

Impressive Results: A Leap in Tactical Thinking

The findings were remarkable. In one control group, the development of tactical thinking skills increased by 10.5%, while the exposed group saw a staggering 46.7% increase. A similar pattern emerged in the other group, with the control group showing a 12.9% increase and the exposed group a 31.6% increase post-test. This substantial improvement highlights the efficacy of incorporating sport psychology into coaching practices.

Beyond Physical Training: A Holistic Approach to Player Development

The study demonstrates that the team coach’s program, guided by sport psychology, not only enhances tactical thinking but also improves psychological fitness. This holistic approach to player development is critical in today’s competitive sports landscape, where mental agility and resilience are key determinants of success.

Implications for Coaches and Athletes

These findings have significant practical implications. They suggest that coaches who integrate sport psychology principles into their training programs can elevate their players’ performance. This approach fosters psychological willingness and enhances tactical thinking, crucial elements for success in sports like basketball.

Why This Research Matters

In the fast-paced world of basketball, where split-second decisions and mental toughness often determine the outcome of a game, the role of sport psychology in coaching cannot be overstated. This research contributes to the evolving field of sport psychology, providing evidence-based practices for coaches to improve athlete performance.


Ming-Yu Zhou’s study marks a pivotal shift in coaching methodologies, emphasizing the need for a more comprehensive approach that includes mental and tactical skill development. It opens up new avenues for basketball coaches and players alike, offering insights into how psychological readiness can complement physical training. For anyone involved in the sport, embracing these findings could be the key to unlocking new levels of performance and success on the court.


Zhou, M.-Y. (2022). Sport psychology in coaching: Improving the personality traits and thinking skills of basketball players. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 46, 101115.

Scroll to Top