I spend a lot of time thinking about developing mental toughness. The thought of a players mentality holding them back from playing up to their full potential bothers me, especially when that player does all of the right things to improve but simply cannot break through mental barriers. Players will miss shots. They will turn the ball over. Defensive responsibilities will be neglected. Careless fouls will be committed.
The important thing for players to think about is not that they made a mistake, but instead what they will do next time to be successful.
The players who struggle with mental toughness often dwell on their mistakes. One missed shot can start a chain reaction of multiple errors that spark a run for the other team.
Rather than thinking about missing a shot, coach yourself on what will make it a successful shot next time. (Maybe you were off balance, and if you get your feet set next time, it will go in)
Instead of trying to find an excuse as to why you missed a defensive rotation, produce a solution to help you be in the right position on the next defensive possession.
The key to playing with mental toughness is doing the right things on the next play instead thinking about the wrong things on the last play.