A drought or a slump? That is the question.
The distinction between these two terms will determine how quickly you break through when you are not having your best athletic performance. When athletes label a couple of bad performances as a “slump,” they imply that it is a long-lasting problem. These athletes enter a competition with the mindset of “being in a slump” and expect to have another bad performance … And what happens? They perform poorly AGAIN! It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and it feels like there is no end in sight.
A performance drought has a different feel. Think of it terms of the weather, a drought indicates a brief period of time. When there is a lack of rain, no one expects it to last forever. Everyone knows, after a little bit of time, the weather will change.
Busting Out of a Performance Drought
See it for what it is … a couple of bad games. Don’t generalize based on one or two games. You can’t perform in the zone every day.
Look for fortunate breaks instead of dwelling on bad breaks or bad calls.
Remind yourself that you can still contribute to the team performance in other ways by playing good defense or supporting your teammates.
Athletes who see themselves as experiencing a performance drought know things will turn around. These athletes enter competition with the mindset of “this may be the competition that I turn my game around.” These athletes look for ways to improve their game instead of feeling bad for themselves or frustrated that they are not performing to their personal standards.