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Winning Ways:
Slump Busting

Wednesday, January 27, 1999

By Gregory "Graig" White
SJSports Physical Fitness Advisor

This morning I was in the weight room and one of my athletes came in looking sad. I asked her, "What's up? Why are you looking so sad?" She said to me that she was upset because she felt like she was in a slump. She asked me, "What's the best way to get out of a slump?" I thought about it for a minute and said to her, "Don't get into one."

That may sound really simplistic, but stay with me and I'll show you that it may not be that simplistic at all. As an athlete and coach, I know that confidence comes from being prepared. Great players work hard to make sure that they are prepared for any situation that may come up during a game.

When it comes to "Slump Busting", the first thing an athlete needs is a goal. When a good solid game plan is in place, the wins will outnumber the losses. When deciding what the goal should be, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, write down the goal and put it somewhere you can see it. Athletes function better with visual clues. The second thing that an athlete needs to do is to create a time frame for him or her to reach their goal. Doing this will help them become more conscious of reaching it.

Another component to concentrate on is their physical conditioning. When training, a person owes it to themselves to see that their best effort was put forth every training session. This will go a long way in creating the confidence needed to stay away from any slump.

The most important aspect is making sure that the athlete has their basic sports skills down. When athletes find themselves in a slump, they need to go start from square one and analyze their ability to execute fundamental skills. The athlete might be surprised by what they find.

Getting athletes out of a slump is a job that coaches wish they didn't have to do, but if a person is in the business long enough they will eventually have to deal with it.

Do you have a fitness or conditioning question for Graig? Send it to If your question is used in an article, you will receive a free Team Conditioning Systems t-shirt.

For previous Winning Ways, visit Graig's Archives

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