Here's a hitting slump quote you should never forget. "Slumps don't exist. They're a mindset and not an outcome. You overcome them by redefining your definition of success". When it comes to hitting slumps and how to fix them, we need to have a plan.
- What causes hitting slumps?
- The psychology of hitting slumps?
- How to break out of hitting slumps?
Good. You're in the right place. Let's break it down.
First, let's realize that hitting slumps are 100% mental.
If baseball is a game of failure, which it is - the question is, how do we handle it so that we can compete at peak performance?
First, we recognize that slumps happen when we stop being process-oriented.
When our goal is on the short-term stats instead of the long term developments, we get distracted by yesterday’s bad at-bats or today's funk at the plate.
Now - we’re pressing, tentative and second-guessing our abilities.
A good way to respond to adversity at the plate is to use reframes that help you to walk up to the plate with the belief that you can beat the pitcher.
Here are some examples.
1. Redefine Your Definition of Success
My goal isn’t to get a hit, my goal is to win the at-bat.
I can win at-bats by running the count full, hitting the ball hard, moving the runner over, drawing a walk & making the pitcher work on the mound.
This is within my control.
2. Stay In Process
Each time I don’t get a hit, it's one step closer to an at-bat where I do.
It’s all good.
3. Activate Controlled Aggression
I’m going to walk up to the plate with every intention to do some serious damage.
I’m not swinging just to make contact.
I’m swinging to drive the ball off the pitcher’s neck.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
4. Stop chasing stats.
The day you stop chasing stats…and start focusing on the things you can control……you will finally achieve some freedom at the plate.
Ever hit a ball so right on the screws that you didn’t feel the ball come off the bat?
I call that true freedom, and you can manufacture that by
- staying committed to the process
- keeping a short-term memory
- keeping a long-term perspective
- having an approach & plan to win the at-bat
- building up your teammates
- remembering to have fun
The beautiful thing about this is it requires zero talent.
It’s a choice you make every time you step on the field.
When you stop chasing stats, the stats chase you.
5. Remember That Great Hitters Still Fail.
Great hitters strikeout.
Great hitters throw away at-bats.
Great hitters get into funks at the plate.
But great hitters refuse to recognize slumpS, because slumps are in the past.
No matter how often great hitters overachieve at the plate, they still fail more than they succeed.
You’re no different.
To be a great hitter, learn to be good consistently.
In Closing: Batting Slumps: How To Fix Them.
If I was your personal hitting mentor, here are three principles I’d want to pass on to you.
- What you focus on expands.
- Infinite patience creates immediate results.
- Success leaves clues.
Because of this, it’s important that you:
- focus on the positive
- keep a long term perspective with a growth mindset
- surround yourself with & model players who have achieved the results you want.
Think with intent. Swing with intent. Compete with intent. Where there’s in intent, confidence follows.
When working with hitters, I try to do as little talking as possible.
Most of what comes out of my mouth is positive reinforcement. I’m just trying to pump them up through the training.
I’m a cheerleader.
When it comes to instructions, especially with young hitters, they are going to retain and remember a small percentage of what I say.
So I reinforce the concepts through drills.
We work on the main prime sequence of the swing.
The bat path.
Minimized head movement.
What's important to understand is the when it comes to mechanics, there is a margin of error in the swing that can be made up for with athletic ability or strength and range of motion, compete level, and the right approach.
In fact - you can have a perfect swing, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the right approach or the belief that you can beat the pitcher.
So the main prime movements. Load, transfer, bat path, and head movement are things that can be isolated with tee work or front toss, which is a staple, refined until they become an instinctual part of your swing.
Once you have the list of the movements, you can really focus on Winning The At-Bat
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