If you are a regular baseball player, or even softball player, you will already know that you can have regular hitting slumps. For the purposes of this guide, we will refer to baseball, but the same things will apply to softball too.
We have compiled a set of tips and tricks to get you out of those annoying hitting slumps, just in time for your next game.
Why am I in a hitting slump?
All baseball player, no matter which league they are playing in, will experience a hitting slump at some point in their life. Do not think that you are the only baseball player that is in a hitting slump. Just like with any sport, there will be games when you are just not playing as well as you could be.
Some of these tips may seem painfully obvious, but if you are in a hitting streak, you may just need to hear all of the obvious fixes before you can get back on track.
Am I overthinking it?
This might not be what you want to hear, but the likelihood that overthinking your slump is causing your slump is high. Once you step up to the plate, most of your performance will come from the preparation, i.e. your mentality as you approach the pitch. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy when it comes to wanting to do better.
That’s why, if you’re in a hitting slump, being too hard on yourself can cause you to go deeper into that slump.
The worst thing you could do to yourself and your mind is to leave the plate thinking that you have entered a hitting slump when you simply missed some hits. The more often you do this, the worse your mentality about your ability to play and hit will get. And this does not help anyone at all.
What can I do to get out of the slump?
There a few tools you can use and activities that you can do to get back into your regular hitting. Here, we will go into detail about each one:
- Go to a batting cage: this may seem obvious, but you need to practice! If this regular batting practice makes the muscle memory return, hopefully that will replace the soured batting image you have of yourself. The more you practice, the better you will get, it’s really that simple. This will also get you back into the swing (excuse the pun) of waiting for the pitch to come to you instead of overthinking when you need to strike it with your bat.
- A swing analyzer: this one is a little more technical. Using a swing analyzer suggest that you are more concerned about your body’s mechanics than your mentality about the slump. This can also be a reason for a batting slump. Using a swing analyzer will allow you to see the actual statistics when it comes to your swings. There will be no more guessing what you are doing wrong, so you can actually focus on exactly what you need to improve. Then you can go back to the batting cage and practice with this new information.
How do I remain motivated during a hitting slump?
This one is simply said, but harder to put into action. Essentially, you need to suck it up and stop moping about your slump. When you are in a game and you let your hitting slump get you down, your whole team will suffer.
This is simply not an option. Try to look at your hitting slump in a positive light: if you are struggling to hit well in a game, focus on other aspects of the game: running. If you fail to hit a pitch thanks to your hitting slump, sprint to first base like your life depends on it.
Not only will this potentially help your team, it will also help you to mentally overcome your slump, the adrenaline will not allow you to linger too long on the thought of your hitting slump.
What if I think the slump is to do with something else?
If you find yourself trying all of these things but your hitting is still off, you may need to try other avenues. The most important of this avenue is an eye test.
As a sports player, you should consider regular eye checks, since they are your most prized possession in a game. Even if you think you don’t need glasses or contacts, you might be wrong, and this might be the cause for your ‘hitting slump’; you simply can’t see the ball very well.
There is no stigma around needing contact lenses in sport, and you will play better once your sight is fixed, it’s a win-win!
Is there anything else I can do to get out of a hitting slump?
Aside from all of the above, make sure you are using the correct equipment for your body height and shape. Is your bat suited for your body? Is it hard to swing because you have the wrong weight bat?
Is the length too much for your arms to navigate? All of these are questions you should ask yourself about your equipment every now and then. It may be that the bat you are using is simply not the right fit for you.
Most of these tips and tricks to get yourself out of a hitting slump require you to stay focused on your mentality as well as practice regularly. Although these may seem like the obvious things to do when you are in a hitting slump, sometimes you need the assurance that that is what you should be doing.
Allow yourself some time to get back into the swing of hitting like you normally do, don’t overthink your slump, and most importantly of all: don’t’ be too hard on yourself, because it is not just you that will suffer, but your team.