The Mental Game – Overcoming “Problems”

By Adam Barnes

As most of you know, how one handles adversity usually determines the level of success they will achieve. In today’s game, many players tend to take the “easy way out” instead of confronting their issue(s) head-on.

Why is that?

I feel it is because we don’t do a good enough job preparing our student-athletes for the challenges they will face. Whether it is in the classroom, on the court, or in the streets; we must give our players the tools to better handle tough situations.

There are many documents you can share with players to help educate them on becoming stronger in the face of adversity, but we have to get hands on! Here is a tool I find extremely useful in helping prepare players for the struggles they will face on a daily basis (don’t just hand it out – read it, study it, revisit it them that you care).



Predictors: They help mold our future.

Reminders: We are NOT self-sufficient. We must act as a TEAM.

Opportunities: They pull us out of our rut and cause us to think positively/creatively.

Blessings: They open up doors that we usually do not see or go through.

Lessons: Each new challenge will be our teacher. We will ALWAYS focus on learning.

Everywhere: No place or person is excluded from them.

Messages: They warn us about potential shortcomings/disaster.

Solvable: NO problem is without a solution. We will WORK to find a positive outcome.


Coach Adam Barnes is a nationally recognized Player Development Specialist based in Lincoln, Nebraska.


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Player Development Specialist (High School, College, & NBA) & Recruiting Analyst/National Camp Director

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