We’ve all been there before. The season is a few meets old, you feel like everything is moving pretty well, and then suddenly it feels like you have no idea what you’re doing in the circle. This sort of midseason technical slump can really impact an athlete’s season, so I wanted to address why it happens and what you can do to combat it.
There can be any number of reasons for why a technical slump happens, but they will often strike in the middle of the competitive season simply as a result of competing. Of course, you’ve been a responsible thrower and made big technical improvements over the preceding 6 months, focusing on 4-5 key ideas. Well, once the season begins, a lot of those improvements often go out the window, especially for younger throwers. There are usually about 3 or 4 meets right at the beginning of the season when people are still just amped up to compete, and just tryin to smash throws. The major downside of this is that a lot of old habits will usually come out, and start to re-assert themselves in the technique. This can spread into high intensity practices around meets and slowly but surely, many of those all-important technical changes are lost.
Now, what to do about it? Well, as you can tell, technical focus is idea here. Reminding yourself that the most important thing come competition time is successfully replicating your technique, not just trying to PR every throw. If you are aware of what you’ve been working on technically, you should be able to establish 1 or 2 simple technical cues that you can remind yourself of leading up to and during the meet. This will make it much easier to replicate what you’ve been doing in practice. If the slump has already begun, it can be very mentally frustrating and overwhelming. One aspect of your technique that you thought was solid might start to revert to the way it used to be, and something entirely new may pop up that needs fixing. In my mind, I always think it’s key to commit to attacking the big picture movements in the throw, and let those help you regain your comfort in the circle. One final reminder is that the middle of the season is often very challenging: throwing intensity is high and weight room intensity hasn’t tapered off quite yet, and you’re still probably chasing various qualification marks. Again, remember that technique is king, and things will come together much easier once the lifting intensity dies down for a true peak at the end of the season. Good technique = big throws!!