The sophomore slump is one of those dreaded terms that hovers around baseball's top young players like a shadow.
It's the idea that the league has an offseason to adjust to players who had successful rookie seasons and production takes a dip in Year 2.
If that's the case for the Cubs, that could be a brutal blow with four key players - Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler - entering their "sophomore" seasons in the big leagues in 2016.
If the Cubs really have hopes of a World Series this year, they're going to have to get production from that quartet. So how will they keep the "sophomore slump" at bay?
For starters, the Cubs hope to avoid the issue simply because they feel a lot of their young players have already endured a bump.
"I thought last year, some of the guys had the opportunity to experience the sophomore bump in their freshman year," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "They had some difficult moments last year that I thought they really worked through well."
Maddon cited the mechanical adjustments Bryant and Russell made last season to get through some slumps.
Bryant has worked to cut down on his strikeouts by keeping the bat through the strike zone longer, eliminating a bit of his uppercut swing.
Russell incorporated a leg kick into his swing last year, something he and the Cubs felt helped unleash some of the power in his line-drive swing.
Schwarber, meanwhile, hit .179 with zero homers and only one RBI in his final 17 games of the 2015 regular season and also endured yearlong inconsistency against left-handers (.143 AVG, .481 OPS).
However, in the postseason, Schwarber found his stroke, clubbing a franchise-record five homers, including a monster shot on top of the right-field scoreboard at Wrigley Field off St. Louis Cardinals lefty Kevin Siegrist in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.
[SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!]
The Cubs know there are still slumps awaiting all their young players, but they feel they have the tools in place to rise above.
"Our job is to try to stay ahead of [the difficult moments] as much as we possibly can," Maddon said. "Be there for them and try to understand what's going on. But primarily would be that our guys adjust back to what these other guys are trying to do to us.
"If you're not hardheaded and you're mindful and you understand those concepts, I think you have a better chance of adjusting back and avoiding those prolonged periods of nonproductivity."
The Cubs also hope to combat any inkling of a sophomore slump by understanding the mental game.
Bryant said one of the ways he's looking to avoid a dip in numbers is by envisioning 2016 as just a continuation of 2015...with a three-and-a-half-month break.
You can't have a sophomore slump if you don't have a sophomore season, right?
"I've actually felt that way watching our guys - it's kinda like they're picking up where they left off," Maddon said. "A lot of enthusiasm, a lot of desire to be at the ballpark, they like each other - all those factors are still in play.
"So yeah, it feels almost like we did pick it up where we left off. We're having a lot of fun, but the work's been outstanding."
The Cubs are attacking projected slumps and adversity head-on.
"I think that's the attitude you have to have," Bryant said. "I've played this game for a very long time, but not as long as some guys in here. You go through your bad spells. You go through your good spells. The good ones always bring you back.
"It's fun to go through those. It's a roller-coaster ride. I wouldn't be playing this game if it wasn't like that. I enjoy the adversity because I know it only gets better."
The other factor playing into all this is each guy's role into the overall locomotive that is the Cubs.
Ideally, young players first cracking into the big leagues wouldn't have to be major pieces on an everyday basis. That wasn't the case with the Cubs last season, of course.
But this year, Theo Epstein's front office helped supplement the young talent with proven commodities like Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist, plus starting pitcher John Lackey and they also brought back centerfielder Dexter Fowler to set the table at the top of the order.
Maddon has talked about young players getting their first taste of life in "The Show" and caring more about their own survival - ensuring they don't make mistakes, focusing and obsessing over their personal numbers - rather than just helping the team win.
The Cubs don't see their "sophomores" just keeping their heads above water.
"A lot of times, younger guys are still in survival mode and they're just trying to stay here because they think it's pretty cool," Maddon said. "They're not normally the guy that's going to help you win because their agenda is to not make a mistake.
"But once you get to the point where you feel like you belong here, then you really shift to, 'All I wanna do is win.'
"...I think all our young guys are about that. Believe me, man. It's a real pleasure to talk to these guys."