Emotional balance occurs when there is harmony between the level of emotional intensity or arousal of a player and the demands of play. Players should learn the appropriate level of intensity for the various aspects of play.
Although emotional intensity varies in each phase of play, play on defense generally calls for higher levels of intensity than on offense. For example, the player going for a loose ball or a defensive rebound needs to be intense, while the player who is advancing the ball with a dribble against pressure defense must have ice water in his/her veins.
Excessive intensity results in poor performance. Being overly intense results in anger or panic. Anger often to some form of unacceptable behavior, like fighting. Panic usually results in taking hurried shots or throwing inaccurate passes.
Boys and girls who are new to a team sport in which there is direct confrontation between opponents are very likely to become overly excited during play. It is important to make them aware that this is a normal occurrence when learning how to play, and that they will soon learn to control their emotions.
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