How to Overcome a Slump in Baseball
What is the key to get out of a performance drought?
You can attack slumps from several angles:
- Altering your warm-up routine
- Changing bats
- Tinkering with your mechanics
- Spending more time on the practice field
- Finding a new lucky shirt
- Putting your left sock on first instead of the right one
While some of these strategies may improve your chances of getting back on track, there probably is a better way…
Rather than looking for a physical solution, you might attack the problem from a mental perspective…
The solution to your slump problem lies in belief and trust.
You need to believe that you have the ability to break out of your slump and that you are not bound by recent history.
Just because you have experienced a string of bad games does not guarantee that the next game will be bad too. This type of faulty reasoning is what causes slumps to unnecessarily continue.
Think of it this way… If it has rained for three consecutive days does it guarantee that rain will continue the next day?
Next, you need to trust that you have the abilities and skills necessary to play at a high level. When you are in panic mode, you often begin tinkering with technique and mechanics.
Just because you are in the midst of a slump doesn’t mean your skills have vanished.
Be patient and know that performance over the course of a season will include some rough patches and you will, eventually, return to your previous form.
Marlins’ pitcher, Edinson Volquez, recently threw the sixth no-hitter in Marlins’ history in a 3-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks despite having a rough start to the year.
This performance was Volquez’s first no-hitter of his career, striking out ten and walking only two hitters, and was only his second win of the season.
Volquez matched the longest winless start to open a season in team history losing his first seven decisions before busting out of his slump with a lifetime performance and improving his record this season to 2-7.
Volquez busted out of his slump because he refused to believe that his current performance is tied to what he has done in the past. Also, Volquez trusted his ability to make pitches and be in command of his pitches which helped him stay immersed in the present moment.
Marlins’ teammate and relief pitcher, Brad Ziegler, commented on the nature of slumps and the need to keep an even keel.
Marlins’ reliever Brad Ziegler: “There’s gonna be ups, there’s gonna be downs. Just don’t let the downs get the best of you and don’t get too high with the ups. Because this game always finds a way to humble you.”
Streaks, good and bad, are just part of baseball. If you want to experience a successful career, you must embrace the ups and downs along the way.
Don’t assume that you’ll stay stuck in a slump because it happened in the past. Don’t talk yourself into a slump if you are 0-8 in the last two games!
Try This For Slump Busting
To bust out of a slump, you need to believe and trust in the skills you have. Every game is a new chapter that you get to write.
Tell yourself, “I have made it to this level because of my abilities and hard work. If I have performed well before, I can do it in today’s game.”
Buy into your abilities, not into generalizations from the past.
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