Every week, I get calls from parents, from coaches and from baseball players who are concerned because they or someone they are concerned about is stuck in a hitting slump.
Hitting a baseball is difficult and when you lose your confidence and your focus, it is very hard to perform well when you are batting.
A lot of the players who call me or who come to see me have excellent swings. Many of these baseball players have had private hitting coaches for years. Some have hitting coaches, fitness coaches, flexibility coaches, speed coaches and nutritionists. The athletes are hoping for baseball scholarships and some are hoping to play Division I baseball or professional ball.
So, you might ask, why to players with great strength, great balance, great technique and good timing get into slumps? And what can be done to shorten the slump and get the hitter on track once again?
In my view, many of the hitters who I counsel know very little about their own psychology. That is, they don't know how to get their mind into the right place prior to getting up to the plate. In addition, they don't know how to adjust their mental attitude in a way that will allow them to break out of their hitting slump.
Sometimes, we need to revamp their whole approach to hitting to get them to hit to their potential.
In other cases, one minor adjustment can solve the problem. I try to start with something simple first. Changing something minute can sometimes free up a baseball player to feel confident and empowered at the plate.
One batter was given a confidence building slogan that he was to repeat to himself in between pitches.
Another was taught a simple way to relax when he got up to bat.
A very talented switch hitter needed a different way to focus when he got into the batter's box.
Another batter changed what he did in the on deck circle. This helped him to feel more comfortable when he came up to bat.
Many of these techniques can be found on 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. Here is the link to get this program.
Jay P. Granat, Ph. D. is a psychotherapist and the founder of http://www.stayinthezone.com - He has written several books and developed several programs to help people perform to their fullest potential at sports, at work and at school. Dr. Granat, a former university professor, has appeared in The New York Times, Good Morning America, AP, ESPN, Golf Digest, The BBC and The CBC. He can be reached at email@example.com - His books include Zone Tennis and Get Into The Zone In Just One Minute. He is also the author of How To Get Into The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis, 101 Ways To Break Out Of A Hitting Slump and Bed Time Stories For Young Athletes. Golf Digest named Dr. Granat one of America's Top Ten Mental Gurus. He was recently featured in a documentary film on long distance running. Dr. Granat writes a weekly column for three newspapers.