I spend a lot of time with athletes trying to help them FEEL their mechanics and to become aware of the thoughts in their head while at bat. I do this because I want the kids diagnosing their own swing when things aren’t going right.
I can think of nothing more frustrating for a competitive athlete than to not know why he/she is struggling.
Let’s discuss one quick strategy to bust free from an offensive slump. If you’ve got an athlete struggling at the plate and frustration is building, try the following.
Remove the desire to pull the baseball. In fact, have your hitter simply ignore the pull side of the field as he steps in the box. Attempt to hit everything the other way.
Many times slumping hitters who are trying hard to bust free from a slump tense up and more balls are pulled as muscles are tight and timing is early.
Consider this article about Albert Pujols slow start.
“Pujols has taken things to a whole different level this year, though, hitting 73 of his 101 balls in play to left field. Outside pitches, inside pitches, whatever—he’s trying to yank it over the left field fence instead of going with the pitch.”
Taking away the pull side takes the pressure off the hitter and allows him to work on seeing the ball longer into the hitting zone. And we all know relaxed hitters perform much better.
Albert is adjusting and has been on fire lately posting 15 hits in his last 10 games (as of May 31st).
The question remaining is will you become consistent this summer in solving your own hitting slumps? For more on the physical mechanics that need to be in place to achieve consistency, you’ll want to have a look here for some depth into the swing.