Working Through Slumps In Sports
Posted by Nancy on February 14, 2011
Chances are pretty good that anyone who has ever put on a basketball uniform, laced up a pair of boxing gloves, slipped their hand into a baseball glove or participated in any other or dozens of sporting activities has become acquainted with the inevitable slump at some point. Even the best of the best such as Babe Ruth, Jack Nicklaus and David Beckham have experienced low times in their various sports. More recently, Peyton Manning threw eleven interceptions in a three week period, and this from a man whose greatness is well established.
Slumps then, are just part of the package that includes effort, performance and success. If you are in your sport for any length of time, it is to be expected. That is not to say that there isn’t something you can and should do about it, even if it is just to remain calm while it runs it’s course. All too often when an individuals performance dips unexpectedly it puts that person into a crisis mode. That is the worst place to be when you are trying to get your game back together. Getting down on yourself serves no constructive purpose. Remaining objective and positive is the better formula for overcoming low times.
One thing to consider is whether the change in your performance has come about as a result of something physical. That would be the first thing you would want to either address or rule out.
The best way to start digging out of a slump is to ask for advise and guidance from someone you trust. It is likely that the best person to help you evaluate your stance, your swing, your throw or whatever the case may be, is your coach. They would be in the best position to advise you of whatever correction may be necessary to get things back to normal. If, however, the problem is not physical in nature, steps need to be taken to alter the negative thinking and self criticism which likely has occurred and which exacerbates the situation. Often at times such as this one tends to become frustrated which leads to over-correcting, over-compensating and making changes that are unnecessary and unhelpful. This behavior can take what might have been one or two sub-par performances and turns them into a pattern of play which lasts far longer than one would want.
Perhaps the very best thing to do when you encounter a slump is to stay positive. Realize that it is part of any sport and that you can and will get through it. Do not let negativity and self criticism hamper your efforts. Relax, stay focused and positive and you will soon be back to your winning ways.