Ask The Coach
I’m in a hitting slump right now and it’s more mental then my swing. I’m not sure what to do. Before game time I’m loosey goosey and ready to play. But once I hit the field I freeze up and I don’t know why. Any suggestions?
No, I don’t know why you are in a hitting slump.
But, I can give you some clues & direction to self-coach & helping you to get your head right!
1st things 1st – Hitting Slumps Happen & Hitting Slumps Go Away… that I promise
Slumps happen & if you’ve never been in a slump… you just haven’t played this game long enough.
Let’s have a moment of silence for those poor young pros who are playing 6-7 games a week, more than they ever have. They can play from Friday to Monday and find yourself in a slump of 2 for 20 by the time they finished at the post-game buffet… enjoy your sleep, you lucky pro baseball player.
With that said, and without playing amateur psychiatrist, let’s agree to think logically and not make this bigger than it actually is.
So, what the hell happened?
- It likely started in your head, you didn’t forget how to hit and over time, you could be changing your swing
- You will get through this
- You may find more batting coaches than you can count
Clearing The Mechanism
Do you recall a Kevin Costner movie where he played an aging MLB pitcher? When he lost focus, that was his phrase to self-talk him back to focusing on his next pitch. He focused only on what he knew to do and threw away all else. Good stuff, right?
Sometimes we all need something to kick us back to normal and my version of this is to just lean on your abilities and not on the result in the scorebook
How To Do This… (this is why you are reading this)
- Stop trying to get hits… (crazy, I know, keep reading.)
- Decide to swing at the 1st good pitch you see, then a 2nd & and then a 3rd if needed
- Look to hit right back at the pitcher
(note: 1,2,& 3 below detail these 3 points)
If You Stop Reading Here, You Now Have Your Plan…
(or keep reading & learn why this works)
- Here’s a newsflash… you cannot control getting a hit. Too many slick-fielding shortstops, incredibly fast center- fielders who turn sure hits into outs & deceitful pitchers! All you can control is to hit the ball hard somewhere… so make that your goal!
- If you leave the on-deck circle with one goal, to put a good swing on the 1st good pitch you see, you will reduce or even avoid bad (0-1, 0-2, 1-2) counts.
- Look to hit a hard hit ball right back at the pitcher. This will leave you the fat part of the field and keep you from lunging and/or flying open.
* now take that into the cage, or batting practice or the backyard while swinging at wiffle balls.
** you want more? Why?
As the legendary baseball-man Branch Rickey once said:
“A full mind is an empty bat.”
In Summary… You’re Slump Is Partially Your Choice & So Is Your Solution
What I mean by this is that the prolonged state of your batting slump is you trying anything, maybe listening to others (who you know actually care) and ultimately grasping at straws without a finite focused plan), and trying to be logical but easily becoming so confused, it is compounding the problem.
You need a clear plan and direction so that you simply let your abilities take over, like you have been doing since you began playing t-ball.
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