The causes of deteriorating athletic performance include injury, advancing age, health issues, overtraining, and a lack of enthusiasm. Few things are more upsetting, aggravating, and sad for athletes than recognizing their potential yet falling short of it.
For me, the last two years have been difficult. My training has been less than ideal due to business, personal obligations, the pandemic, and some health-related difficulties.
Competing as a result has been VERY difficult. More times than I want to admit, I’ve given up, retired, re-retired, and DNF’d. I always leave an event thinking the same thing:
I suck. So what?
How can you overcome the training and performance slump blues? Sometimes it’s more difficult to recover mentally than physically.
Losing your athletic skill is difficult, but losing your athletic community is more difficult. To keep your mind in the game and get the same dopamine rush from your sport, you must find a replacement.
An important first step toward rehabilitation is feeling good outside of your sport. Try something new, go for a run with no goals, concentrate on what you can control, talk to friends, and volunteer. Most importantly, reevaluate your objectives. Back up, turn off, and leave your watch at home. Reintegrate softly and cautiously into your sport when and if you decide to do so.
We all aspire to develop as people and become better versions of ourselves. Succumbing is occasionally just another phase in our athletic development.