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8 Tips to Keeping Your Cool Under Pressure From NBA Finals Pros

Whether you compete in marathons or triathlons, race in 10Ks or 2-mile swims, these tips from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant and other NBA stars will help you come up big when the stakes are highest.

Dwyane Wade

Keep an Even Keel and Stay in the Moment – Dwyane Wade, G, Miami Heat

Along your journey towards whatever you’re trying to accomplish, you’re likely to have minor successes and setbacks. If you’re in a triathlon and enter a stage below the pace you’d like to keep, you can’t get upset or it could sabotage your whole race. Likewise, if you’re well ahead of the pace you want, you can’t get too carried away from your game plan or you could burn out. When it comes to dealing with the ups and downs of a playoff run and the NBA Finals in particular, Dwyane Wade explains the Heat’s strategy for steadiness:

“For this team, I think we understand that the moment is the biggest thing. It’s cliché and we might say certain things a lot, but it’s even keel around here. We never get too high, we never get too low. We try to always stay in our moment.”

Maintain Focus, Learn from Experience – Erik Spoelstra, Head Coach, Miami Heat

When preparing for a big competition, many people will start trying to look for any small edge to boost performance. It might be a new energy bar, it might be something to help them sleep the night before, or it might be a new warm-up. If you’ve been practicing a certain way to get ready for a competition, don’t panic and make changes to your routine in the last minute. When asked how tough it is to keep the same approach with his team heading into what may be their championship-winning game, here’s what Coach Spoelstra had to say:

“If you start changing the routine and now start making it about the result other than focusing on the process of the next 24 hours, it’s going to be another battle... You’ve got to absolutely immerse yourself into the process and the focus. It’s Game 5. We want to treat it as a Game 7. But we are preparing for Game 5 to protect our home court and to take care of business. It’s been well documented the experience we went through last year and the pain and all that. It doesn’t guarantee you anything. Experience is a great teacher. You know, hopefully all those experiences will help us.”

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