Friday, January 13, 2012

5 Things to Know About Baseball Slump

Baseball is as much of a mental challenge as it is a physical one. When a player is slumping in any area of the game, it can be quite troubling. What players used to do easily no longer seems possible. When a player stops hitting, it can be painful and frustrating. Although most slumps eventually run their course, you might be able to help player come out of his slump with advice and practice drills.
Step 1
Toss the ball easily to a hitter when he is in a slump. A batter may have stopped hitting the ball hard, and it can lead to a loss of confidence. Show the player he can hit the ball hard again by tossing the ball slowly and easily to him so he can see what it's like to hit the ball hard once again. Although the soft tosses are nothing like the tough pitches he will see in the game, it reminds the hitter that he has the capability of hitting the ball hard.
Step 2
Convince the hitter to look for the pitch he can handle best when he is in a slump. Point out to the hitter of how well he hits those pitches and then advise him to look for just those pitches and tell him not to worry about anything else. Ideally, he will see one of his favorite pitches soon after that and hit it hard. That will help him get out of the slump.
Step 3
Remind the player to look at videotape of when he was in a hot streak and everything that came off his bat was a line drive. When the player studies videotape, he may see that he was holding his hands a few inches higher or lower when he was in a hot streak or that his feet were a little bit closer to home plate. The hitter can then make specific adjustments to get out of the slump.
Step 4
Explain to the player that he is a strong player, that he is still valuable to the team and that his slump will eventually end. When a player goes through a slump, a loss of confidence may occur. The player's teammates, batting coach and manager can help him get out of his slump by reminding him how much they still believe in him and how good a player he is. That kind of confidence can help a player breathe a sigh of relief and get out of a slump.
Step 5
Work with a player on the other areas of the game. Don't dwell on the swing if the player is in a batting slump. Give him extra fielding practice so that area of the game remains sharp. Work on base running so the batter makes the right move when he becomes a base runner. Do conditioning and strength-building drills with him so the player is in top physical condition.

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