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  • Writer's pictureAlyssa Zajdel, PhD

When Should You Shoot?

Updated: Jan 1

You’re close to goal. Your teammate throws you the ball. You catch it. Do you shoot?


There are several ways to make that decision.


Option 1: Emotional Reasoning


You shoot because you:

  • Feel pressure from teammates

  • Want to prove yourself

  • Panic and don’t know what else to do


You don’t shoot because you:

  • Don’t think you will actually get the ball in the net

  • Worry what others will think if you miss


How can emotional reasoning impact your play?


If you do shoot, it might not be ideal circumstances so you’re more likely to miss.


If you don’t shoot, you may be missing opportunities.


What is an alternative to emotional reasoning?


Option 2: Logical reasoning


You shoot because:

  • Your defender is not by you

  • You are close enough to the goal to make it

  • You have good control of the ball

  • You have enough time


You don’t shoot because:

  • Your defender is on you

  • You are too far from the goal

  • You don’t have good control of the ball

  • There isn’t enough time


With logical reasoning, you decide to shoot/not shoot based on the observable data in the present moment. Using this information will help you make a better-informed decision that will likely lead to better outcomes.


Next time you are analyzing your shooting decisions post-game, reflect on whether you used emotional reasoning or logical reasoning to make that decision. How can you be more logical in the future?



Want to better understand your decision-making process for when to shoot? Therapy can help!



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