How To Get Over an Early-Season Hitting Slump
There are few sports as fickle as baseball. You could do everything right, hit a laser beam off the bat, and still make an out. These pitfalls could be the harbinger for things to come, but there are ways to get over an early-season hitting slump.
Patience Is a Virtue
Whenever everything comes apart from the seams, our minds tend to race at 100 mph, causing us to lose focus and what’s in front of us. After a couple of 0-fers, a hitter may feel like the walls are caving in. This uncomfortable feeling could lead some to develop bad habits such as a lack of plate discipline.
The most successful hitters tend to be the most patient ones. While Aaron Judge’s 62 home runs and .311 batting average are impressive, his league-leading 111 walks were the main reason he was so successful at the plate.
Judge’s keen eye ensured he rarely swung at junk pitches outside the zone. Pressing at the plate and swinging at everything thrown your way is a recipe for disaster. Thus, you should try to take Judge’s approach and wait for your pitch. Eventually, the pitcher will make a mistake, and you’ll be ready to pounce.
Focus on Good Contact
Another mistake many struggling hitters make is white-knuckling the bat and trying to hit an eight-run home run because you desperately need to overcome the slump. Swinging for the fences has its place in the game, but you shouldn’t do this when you are at your most vulnerable point.
A scuffling hitter should return to the basics and focus on hitting line drives rather than the long ball. Line drives are the purest form of contact in baseball, considering they are the most indefensible batted ball put into play. Furthermore, line drives will eventually lead to bigger and better things. After you find your swing, you may want to opt for a heavier bat. Together, these two changes can help you reach distances you weren’t coming close to before.
One Thing at a Time
A key part of putting a slump in your rearview mirror is consistency. While being a patient hitter that’s smacking line drives is effective, trying to tackle both issues simultaneously could lead to inconsistencies. Instead, take one thing at a time.
Give yourself a small, attainable goal for your next at-bat. Something like seeing six pitches the next time you’re at the plate gives you a small win, potentially leading to positive momentum. But if you tell yourself you will hit a line drive into right field on the seventh pitch, you might be biting off more than you can chew.
Show Your Swagger
Think about how different things are when you spend several hours preparing for an exam compared to just winging a test. Winging it is your way of hoping everything sorts itself out on its own.
Rarely does a hitting slump end without acknowledging and trying things to fix it. However, doing the necessary things—such as waiting for your pitch, leveling your swing, and finding consistency—will do wonders for your game.
You don’t want to begin your high school baseball career on a bad note, so knowing how to get over an early season hitting slump ensures you will succeed. The coaches will enjoy your hitting prowess, but they will respect your perseverance to make it happen.