We often talk to our players at Woodall Baseball Academy about ‘slumps” and how to manage them. This is part 1 of a multi-blog series on how to deal with the inevitable slump during the season.
The first thing to know as you go into the season is that you will have a time when you are not feeling great at the plate or on the mound. Your average will drop and so will your confidence. We cannot avoid it….therefore we have to plan for it and anticipate what we will do when it happens.
The first thing we have to do it manage our confidence and self doubt. Our game revolves around failure, so self doubt is a constant struggle. Having success is the easiest way to create confidence, so how do you find that confidence in the midst of a 1 for 10 week at the plate, or 2 poor pitching outings?
TRUST YOUR TRAINING!!
All great players love to dig into the details, work on their mechanics, and go through the discovery process of improving their fundamentals. In the midst of a slump, the great players get to work! The only way to gain confidence and overcome self-doubt between games is to hit the batting cage, or bullpen mound. Dig into drill work, the basics, and improve through paying attention to the details. Keep your head still and eyes on contact, find a better athletic position in your stance, get your front foot down early, simplify your swing. In pitching…nose and chin to the target, tighten up your front-side (glove) mechanics, and calm down your lower half to reduce “jumping” to the target.
Through this process, players often discover something that helps them hit or pitch better in practice. They then know what to focus on in their work sessions and pre-swing (or pitch) routine to get them in the right place at the right time.
The player’s confidence comes from their improvement in practice sessions and their trust in their training. As a result, their thought (in the next game) is on their positive adjustments and results in their work sessions, and not on their last 1 for 10 at the plate.
So next time you are in a slump and your confidence is low, get to work and back to the basics. Just hoping you will do better next time is not a great strategy. Trust your training and find confidence between games.
For more on our Summer Camps, Individual Instruction and other programs, go to www.woodallbaseball.com (Baseball)