One of my favorite quotes by the singer Frank Sinatra is “Take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again”. Be it in your academic or work life, you should never be discouraged by an obstacle. It is a known fact that the pathway to success is a rocky one.
No matter how hard you work you are bound to hit roadblocks. I think this is evident the most in sports. Now I’m not a sportsperson nor am I a huge sports fan (okay I do enjoy the occasional cricket World Cup because, come on, who wouldn’t?) but it doesn’t take much to understand that, like any other person, even athletes have ups and downs in their careers. Sometimes, the downs can get very overwhelming and this is a sign that maybe it’s time they need to take a break. This, in sports psychology, is often termed as a “slump”.
Effects of Sports Slump:
Slump is basically defined as a dry spell an athlete goes through when they underperform. If not caught early, this can last for long periods of time. They have both psychological and physical factors. Lack of confidence, low motivation, frustration, and pressure are some things that can affect mentally. Physical factors include minor injuries and fatigue. Most athletes are also very superstitious. Therefore, a small change even in their equipment can majorly throw them off course.
However, this doesn’t mean athletes can’t bounce back and make a return to their old self. With the right motivation and approach, athletes can effectively break out of a slump.
Steps to take to overcome it:
- The first step is to understand psychologically that it is okay to experience lows and to accept the fact that failure is merely an obstacle, but is not the endpoint.
- Precision and accuracy are key to an athlete’s performance but, in times like this, athletes should remember to not overthink their results. Improving their performance is what’s important.
- Lastly, and this is a basic lesson for everyone, it is imperative that past mistakes are not overthought. When we don’t have control over them, there is no point in holding on to them.
What should you do as an audience/fan?
One thing that should always be kept in mind is that, no matter how much you think your favorite sportsman is a superhero, at the end of the day, they are just humans like you and me. They should never be criticized for wanting to take a break and focusing on themselves. Rather, as a fan, you should support them as always and encourage them to do what they need to do so that they can come back as glorious as before.