Maybe you’re a centre-forward in football who just can’t hit the net, a professional golfer who can’t make a cut or a tour tennis player who is on a losing streak?
When you hit a patch like this, how do you respond?
Often athletes believe it is because of poor mechanics or technique and think that by seeking the advice of their coach and working harder and harder they’ll overcome the issue. But maybe you’re poor spell isn’t a physical problem, it might just be a mental problem?
Over-thinking your technique or mechanics can actually keep you stuck in a slump.
Let’s say you’re a tennis player and you’ve had a few poor performances losing 5 games in a row, like Johanna Konta has as I write this… You begin feeling anxious when you’re on court about your performance.
You work on your technique more and more in practice causing you to think more about your mechanics in matches.
You become so focused on your positioning and how you should take the racket back that you can’t focus on reading your opponent.
You are stuck in a training mindset. You become so mechanical and you take more time than you normally would between shots.
Where’s the problem now?
You’re slump is caused by over-thinking and will take a lot longer to get out of by trying harder and making a lot of physical changes.
3 reasons why over-thinking won’t help you:
- It will stop you from making progress.
- You’ll focus too much on the outcomes.
- You will judge everything that you do.
How do I get out of a slump?
Most athletes that I’ve supported have gone back to basics and kept it simple, after all this is what you do when you play your best.
- Set yourself one focus goal for your performance. Along the lines of, ensuring your body language is positive on court if you’re a tennis player, or if you’re a footballer, to make yourself available for the ball as much as possible.
- Put results to one side and focus on the process.
- Take some downtime, ensure you’re enjoying your life off the court or pitch.
- Lastly, remember why you play your sport, the things that you love about tennis or football. The buzz of competing or the banter in training…..
Want to know more about how you can get out of a slump feel free to contact me.
HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist
T: +44 7734 697769