The underlying cause of any on-court performance issue is the subconscious mental and emotional blockages picked up from past experiences that can hold a player back. When energetic blocks like these exist, players inevitably struggle to optimize performance.
Subconscious impediments can adversely affect a player’s decision-making and execution process during the game. Confidence, poise and the ability to process through split-second reads during the game can also be thrown off.
When these elements are present, a player’s assist-to-turnover ratio can be directly affected.
Considering that most ball handling and facilitation responsibilities reside with the point, combo and wing guards, this sort of dynamic is often observed most from these positions.
A point guard’s inability to consistently and confidently run the team, make correct reads out of pick and roll and take care of the ball directly maps back to the level of subconscious clarity and focus that that player possesses.
This being said, the fastest way for improving assist-to-turnover ratio is through neutralizing the negatively-charged subconscious thoughts, emotions and feelings that are adversely affecting a player’s decision-making process. This has the effect of sharpening focus, boosting confidence and freeing the player of past emotional baggage.
Before we discuss techniques for how to supercharge assist-to-turnover ratio, let’s first outline examples of unconscious performance blocks. Below are common types of performance blocks. The removal of impediments such as these has been shown to directly influence assist-to-turnover ratio upwards.
Remember, performance blocks are the thoughts, emotions, feelings and images from past events that linger with a player.
Common Mental Blocks
Embarrassing / Confidence-Deflating Turnovers
Often embarrassing turnovers will stay etched within a player’s mind. For example, the lingering mental and emotional effects from turnovers committed on national television against the No. 1 ranked team in the country can have major ramifications on a player’s psyche. This is especially true for younger players.
If trapped emotions are allowed to remain, it can effectively shatter a player’s poise, decision-making and execution. Often, confidence will be shaken to the core. This can persist for games, months and, sometimes, seasons until embarrassment is thoroughly processed through on the subconscious mental and emotional level.
A player can re-live experiences like these on the subconscious level well after the real-time experience is complete, causing performance anxiety. Players can then begin to play on their heels as opposed to assertively attacking responsibilities on the court.
A point guard who has not processed through these emotional components may struggle to initiate the offense. For example, instead of making a strong push to set up the offense deep within half-court, that point guard may tend to avoid defensive ball pressure altogether, beginning the offense closer to the mid-court line.
Initiating the offense closer to half-court changes the trajectory of the off-ball offensive cuts. Where before, teammates maybe have been cutting to score, now they may be cutting to bail their point guard out.
This nuanced change in how the off-season is initiated can affect passing angles, not only for the point-guard, but for the overall team. Scoring and turnover/deflection probability changes, which can consequently affect the point-guard’s ball-maintenance and his ability to set up teammates for scoring opportunities. This is just one example of how unresolved emotional discord can affect a player’s assist-to-turnover ratio.
Images From Past Turnovers
The images from past turnovers can be stored in visual format within a player’s subconscious. Images like sailing the ball over a teammate’s head on a skip pass, or the incredulous expression on the same teammate’s face thereafter, can remain embedded within the subconscious mind of a player. If left there, this can effectively derail performance.
The mind is powerful. It will look to manifest outcomes in real-life that mirror the images that are being stored on the subconscious level of the mind. If a player is storing performance-inhibiting images in the deep psyche, then this can cause a form of replication of this outcome on the court.
An example of this is a combo guard who struggles historically to make strong pick and roll passing decisions. The stored images from past PNR failures could be affecting the real-time poise, confidence and execution ability in PNR situations. Continued failure in these play types can cause a snowball effect to occur, which can further impede assist-to-turnover efficiency in these situations. Until the collection of images from past PNR failures are neutralized, the combo guard will likely continue to struggle.
Negative Thoughts Lingering From Past Turnovers
Another major roadblock to producing an improved assist-to-turnover ratio is a negative thought. Leftover negative thoughts can reverberate throughout a player’s mind, blocking optimal execution and decision-making in situations out on the floor.
Throughout the game, a player generally experiences an internal running dialogue. This mental commentary, if negatively charged, can become trapped within the player’s subconscious mind. This often happens on turnovers and on-court mistakes. These negatively charged thoughts can become etched within the psyche, consequently blocking performance.
Below are examples of commonly found negative dialogues, stemming from on-court turnovers that if carried forward can influence a down in a player’s decision-making ability.
- “Don’t turn it over”
- “Not again”
- “Expletive – Expletive”
Closing this section out, the mind will look to match outward performance with internal commentary. This is why it is so important to eliminate blocking thought patterns as soon as possible. This gives the player the best possible chance for improving the assist-to-turnover ratio over the long term.
Shifting The Paradigm – Improving Assist-To-Turnover Ratio
Cutting right to the chase, the most powerful way to unleash big-time statistical improvement in a player’s assist-to-turnover ratio is through the implementation of an Individualized Energy Psychology – Player Development program.
Programs incorporating EP root out thoughts, emotions, feelings and images held on the subconscious level, giving the player the best possible chance for success.
Integrating energy psychology techniques into a pre-existing skill development program optimizes the player’s poise, decision-making, confidence and on-court efficiency. When employed consistently over a multi-week period, this has been shown to influence assist-to-turnover ratio upwards.
Energy Psychology gets to the very core of a performance issue by addressing the cause and not just the symptom – the cause being subconscious mental and emotional blockages, and the symptoms being the player’s on-court statistical output or down-trending performance results.
When the symptom and the root causes are addressed simultaneously, it often unleashes massive statistical improvement for a player. Approaching player development in this fashion is paradigm shifting. Yet, it may be exactly what is required to better serve the NBA player.