We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
A slump is every athlete's worst nightmare, and it's even more devastating in a high-impact, fast-moving sport such as basketball. When you only have a few seconds to make a decision, being in a slump can cloud judgment and cause over thinking. If you're a coach, parent or friend of someone in a slump, you should know that the last thing that an athlete needs is even more pressure. Take a laid-back, positive approach to offer your support.
Athletes, especially those playing high-profile sports such as basketball, are under a great deal of pressure on and off the court. When a certain level of performance becomes expected, just one bad game could start someone on a downward spiral into a longer-lasting slump. In fact, a study performed at the University of Birmingham, published in a 2011 issue of "Current Directions in Psychological Science," found definite links between pressure, stress and an athlete's poor performance. Unfortunately, feelings of pressure become compounded with each poor game.
If you're a coach or a parent, your knee-jerk reaction might be to tell your athlete to play harder, get better and simply quit the slump altogether. Unfortunately, it's not nearly that easy. The more pressure you place on an athlete's performance, the more likely he is to over think his actions. Instead of applying more pressure, you need to offer support and tangible ways to help. Arranging for extra practices, giving tips on game play and offering a listening ear can make all the difference for a struggling basketball player.
When a basketball player is going through a slump, he's probably comparing himself to other athletes. But even the greats have undergone complete slumps throughout their career. It's simply a job hazard that results from a high-performance game. Even NBA players hit mental walls that disrupt their performance. Your athlete probably feels alienated and alone, so talk about how common slumps are, and that no one stays in a slump forever. By realizing that slumps are totally normal, your athlete can pull himself out of mental negativity and move on.
Because stress can negatively affect your athlete's performance, laying off the pressure can make a huge difference. It doesn't matter how long a slump lasts. Continue heading out to basketball games, cheering and offering plenty of praise. If your athlete expresses anger and frustration, respond with positive advice. Athletes often have faulty beliefs that they always need to be perfect or always put big numbers up on the scoreboard. Instead, focus on general improvement on the court, such as more controlled dribbling or superior passing. As you help to build your athlete's confidence, he slowly will start to trust his instincts again, emerging from the slump as a better overall player.