My boys are full swing into fall sports. I have one boy that plays baseball, and another that plays soccer. My baseball player found himself in the middle of a hitting slump. It started late in the spring season and lasted through the summer. We worked on a few things to get him out of the slump so he can start hitting again. Last week, was the first game of the fall season. At this first at bat, he broke out of his slump with a solid double to right field. He looked at me from second base, with a huge smile and said, “I’m back!”. This week I am going to talk about some strategies we used to get out of the slump and rejuvenate a ball player.
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional baseball player, a professional salesperson, or a CEO, we can all get into a slump from time to time – a period when we just can’t get anything right. No matter how hard we try we just come up short. This can be frustrating! We feel like we’re doing everything right, yet we just can’t seem to get the same results. First, relax. It happens. Second, there are a few things that you can do to get out of that slump and start hitting home runs again.
Back to Basics
I like to golf. During the spring, I’ll get my clubs out of the basement and head out to the driving range to get back into form. Generally, the more I play, the better I hit the ball. This makes sense, because of the practice. Inevitably in the middle of the summer I start feeling confident with my shot and really try to hit the ball hard. I mean like the pros do. Well, I am far from being a pro, so the harder I try to hit the ball, the worse my shots become. Even when I decide to back off and not hit so hard, I still can’t hit a decent shot. I eventually must go back to the range and focus on the basics until I figure out what I was doing wrong.
Whether it is golfing, selling, or running a company, we can all lose touch with the fundamentals. It’s not that we forget about them, or ignore them, but we get blinded by our own confidence. It isn’t until our performance is impacted that we pay attention to fundamentals. When you find yourself in a slump, find yourself a coach, mentor or a friend. Have them observe you on the proverbial driving range. Getting back to basics is a sure-fire way to get out of that slump.
I had a basketball coach tell me that when a shooter is in a slump, he keeps giving him the ball. That seemed counterintuitive, I mean the ball player isn’t scoring, shouldn’t he give the ball to someone else. His rational was all about averages. He might be in a slump now, but he’ll be on fire later.
This is another way of saying, don’t give up. How many stories do you now about an exceptional leader taking a new assignment only to struggle to find any success? Maybe that story is about a point in your career. Often the leader will decide they “can’t do this” and they regress to a previous position. However, when that leader decides to keep moving on, and adapting skills, or even developing new skills, then that leader once again begins to excel. Don’t give up and keep shooting.
Get out of your Head
In my intro, I talked about my son’s batting slump. We tried to get him out of his slump. We worked on his fundamentals, we went to the batting cages, and we watched videos. I tried everything I could think of to help him get out of the slump. But no matter what we did, or even how he did in practice, he just lost it during a game.
It seemed that he forgot everything we worked on when he was up to bat during the game. What happened? The last thing we had to deal with was getting him out of his own head. When he was up to bat, he lost his confidence. He kept thinking of his failures and not his successes. This is so easy to do.
When you are in a slump, the worst thing you can do is focus on the lack of results. Change your mindset and think of your past successes. The big deals that got you in the position you are in anyway. Gaining your confidence back will be that added element needed to excel you out of the slump and back to your old productive self.
This Week’s Challenge
Next time your business or a leader in your business is in a slump, remind them of the fundamentals. Encourage them not to quit. Don’t let them lose confidence. All slumps eventually pass when you diligently work to get through them.
If you would like to discuss more ways to help your business grow or if you feel you have a specific problem that needs to be addressed, please reach out to me.