The Mind Body Connection - Why Does It Matter?

Are the mind and body two separate things or one connected reality?  Who knows-Who cares!


The answer is no one knows but all coaches should have a view.  Why? Because it affects how you help players cope with everything from bad habits to stress.  For example do you simply impose your will on a player or do you work with the player to effect change that comes from within?


Of course the ‘touchy-feely’ answer is to work with the player but sports throws up many examples of very successful authoritarian coaches.  It’s ‘my-way-or-the-highway’ team selection seems to work. So when people talk about ‘coaching philosophy’ it is not just about being a defensive coach or an attacking coach it is about how you approach all aspects of preparing your players for success.


At Pumas Basketball we believe in a coaching philosophy that promotes positive responses to stressful situations. How players react when their team is in control and winning is less important to us than when the game is on the line and players must produce.


In basketball one of the most frustrating examples of a negative response is the stupid foul that comes after a player makes an error.  All coaches will experience tight games where a player on offence ‘goes for glory’ makes a mistake, chases back and commits a foul.  It achieves nothing and it embarrasses the player and it frustrates the coach and often it hurts the team at the worst possible moment.


So what do we do?   Of all the theories that fly around one that should resonate with sports coaches is that the better a player controls their mind the better they control their body.  In practice working with players in this area breaks down to –



  • Players where established bad habits need to be corrected.
  • New players where good habits can be generated.



Suggested areas of further study:



  1. The great coach John Wooden said “When our emotions dominate our actions, we make mistakes” and talks about creating time for reflection. His work is well worth a look.
  2. Wooden, John; Carty, Jay (2010-12-09). Coach Wooden's Pyramid of Success Playbook: Applying the Pyramid of Success to Your Life (Kindle Location 508). Gospel Light. Kindle Edition.
  3. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) an area that has now been recognised by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
  4. Neuro-lingistic programming a more controversial area but one worth looking at if only for its advice, ‘if it isn’t working do something else!’ 





Working In Basketball

Over the years we have worked with many teams and organisations local, national and international.  Links to some of our recent activities can now be found on the homepage
We are particularly proud of our work with the United Nations in Kenya.  Our aim this year is to build on a hugely successful ‘Pilot-scheme’ we helped to deliver in 2012.  In the coming months we will be starting a fundraising initiative focused on funding the delivery of grass-roots basketball to refugees throughout the region.

If you would like to help with any of our projects please email us  - 

Illinois Buzzer Beating Thriller

On Thursday Top rated Indiana lost to underdogs Illinois 74-72 on the buzzer.  With just 0.9 seconds to play Illinois executed a great inbound play that led to an uncontested lay-up.

The reaction around the news and chat rooms has been mixed with some citing a great offensive play and others calling it poor defence.  Click below to watch the video and get our opinion on what happened.

New Website.

Probably best known from our time in National League basketball and the highly successful Coaching Services organisation, Pumas Basketball has recently been run as a ‘low-key’ support service, working ‘behind the scenes’ to help the development of local basketball teams, players and coaches.

With the launch of our new website we aim to offer an events-driven advisory service that will be of value to anyone interested in developing basketball in their area.