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What I Know And Remember About Baseball - Batting Slumps

Jan 19, 2008
For what ever the reason, nearly every person who has played baseball runs into a slump. The prospect of buying a base hit is all that seems left for the player to get past the desperation of hitting anything.

Pressure placed upon ourselves for letting the team down, pressure from out statistics going in the toilet and pressure from teammates; while nothing is said, the looks and actions tell the real story of what they are holding back. It can be a spiral that places doubt in all your abilities, creating hesitation and second guessing what you already know what to do.

Batting slumps can do far more that merely divot the batting averages. It is important for Players and Coaches to recognize these slumps and do all they can to get their player, teammate back on track. Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. All links get fatigued and need the time and attention of restoring the temper.

Baseball Players in batting slumps have great difficulty in observing their actions objectively. The best meaning parent can have this same trouble of objective detachment. Even they Players coach can loose the objective focus it takes to figure out what the real trouble is.

Younger Players have the most difficulty developing a consistent swing throughout the season. Constantly changing bodies is the number one culprit. Growth spurts, hormone changes, broader interests, emotions; you name it, everything a healthy growing body goes through affects their swing to some degree.

Intensity changes in activity is largely overlooked as contributors to swing changes. If your Player was dynamite during spring ball but seemed to unwind in summer ball, look to the off diamond activity. It is likely you will find the during spring ball and the school year the Player was on a good regiment. The freedom of summer and no school the structured day to day is gone.

Enterprising Players take the summer time to earn the dollars necessary to support their dreams. Jobs available to these people are usually heavy on the labor. Its simple physics to deduce that heavier work plus longer work hours will invariably build strength. Now that 31 they had been swinging like a pro is coming around too fast and at all sorts of wood chopping angles.

Now that we have covered the detrimental affects of a batting slump, the never ending array of reasons why the slump started and that the inner circle of the Players world may not be able to identify the issue, is there a fix?

Back to the basics, first up, put the bat on the ball. Do the T work under the Coaches eye. Use video to slow things down to take a bit by bit look. If the corrections are not working, seek a once over from a different coach. One of the wonderful things about baseball is the willingness of all Coaches to see all Players succeed. Be it League, Division or School, there is someone closer than you think that would be more than happy to spend and hour to two getting your swing back on track.

Time spent at the batting cage can be useful too. Particularly good is bunting in the cage, yes bunting. The batting slump is a simple result, the bat is not being put on the ball. So, when you can go to the cage and drop a tokens worth of pitches dead, you are now putting the bat on the ball. Start by being square to the machine and catch each pitch with the bat. Once that is done, take your normal stance and go through the whole motion. Drop another token and drop those pitches.

Even if your batting slump is mid season, developing your bunting skills are practical training. If your not ready to swing away, bunting yourself on base is still a base. While your out there, go ahead a steal one too. Plus when you are at the plate, and the pitcher hangs a cure ball, well, smashing that one is going to be a confidence builder.

No access to a baseball batting cage, no problem. Toss yourself the baseball and hit it into the backstop or other net that is not likely to break or get you into trouble. Again, the object is to put the bat on the ball. Even a bad toss you have to chase a little bit to hit is ok. Hitting from different locations, walking to retrieve the ball and hit again; drills like this add variation you will not find at stationary batting Ts or cages.

Inner city Players have options too. Grab your buddies and go play some stick ball. When your buddies are not available, do the toss drill above with a stick bat and golf ball size whiffle ball.

The solution to a baseball batting slump is to discover what has changed and make the corrections to bring back your success. Get back to the basics of putting the bat on the ball in varying situations not all customary and usual.

Above all, the most significant thing you can do to end your slump is to be patient with yourself.
About the Author
Mr. Dowdy is the father of 3 and after re-entering competitive baseball with his oldest that lead to frustration of finding suitable glove, he became an Official Distributor for NW Kelley USA Baseball you can also click over to Hirsch Group for more news/tips/articles
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