As an athlete, consistency is important. Consistency of effort, preparation, and practice leads to consistency of performance. But, despite our best efforts, athletes at every level experience performance slumps. There will be some games when your shots are just not falling. How will you deal with it?
There are some things that are under your control every time you take the court. Attitude is one of them and, perhaps, the most important. You decide if and how you let a missed shot or turnover affect your next possession, or the rest of your game. Although it may be easier said then done, a positive mental approach (and, sometimes, a short memory) is critical to athletic performance success.
Effort is another area that shouldn’t be impacted by your level of play. Keep hustling. Continue to “play hard, play smart, and play together” (Dean Smith, former University of North Carolina men’s basketball coach). Don’t allow a missed shot or bad pass to be an excuse to give anything less than 100% when you’re on the court. Focus on the aspects of your play that aren’t susceptible to slumps, like defense, boxing out, and rebounding.
Don’t allow a performance slump to take away your aggressiveness, confidence, or energy. You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Keep believing in yourself and maintain a high intensity level. Draw on positive past experience to fuel your thoughts. Keep working hard, stay positive, and good things will happen.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!