Baseball Slump:  How To End
One

The first thing for all baseball players to understand is
that everyone gets in slumps. It’s a normal part of baseball if
you play it for any significant amount of time. It happens to
hall of famers and it happens to little leaguers.  Yogi
Berra
said: “Everybody has slumps. Hitters and pitchers
struggle for no good reason. The big thing is not to change who
you are.”

Hitting Slumps:

One of the most durable, consistent players of all time,
Cal Ripken wrote in his book about a particularly bad
slump in 1990 when he was batting .209:

“I was as frustrated as I’ve eve been.  I was at
rock bottom, thinking I might be through. I mean, it wasnt’ a
matter of being tired.  I just wasn’t myself at the
plate.  I had developed bad habits, trying to do too much,
and the more  I fought it physically, the more it became a
mental problem.”

The bottom line is that you have to keep the proper
perspective when in a slump. If you’ve performed well before,
then your body knows how to do it again.

Baseball slumps are particularly insidious because you can
be performing very well with your body and still not be getting
on base. The way slumps usually begin is when you hit the
ball right on the nose but at fielders for an extended number
of at-bats. After awhile, you start doubting yourself and
the little voices of insecurity start to come up.

This leads to PRESSING, the number one
mental mistake ballplayers make. You get behind and then start
thinking that you “Need” this next one.  Pressing is the
biggest reason that slumps keep going.  What you want to
do instead is to treat every at-bat the same as the last. Be
robotic in your pre-hit routine.  Every swing and every
chance at the plate is an independent event.

The great Ty Cobb said:

“Worrying, that’s mistake #1. Now that I”m thinking
about my slump, I’m also starting to think about how to
overcome it. This is when my trouble begins. In my effort to
overcome it, I’m changing my stance, my swing, and my stride,
and this further handicaps my timing. So my best bet for ending
a slump is not to worry and go right on batting in my regular
style.”

You might be thinking: “That’s great, but how do I stop
from worrying?”

The solution is to go back and work on your fundamentals and
increase the trust you have with your unconscious mind that it
knows how to perform…and then let it.  Keep your
“worrying” mind busy with the process and then let go. 
Hypnosis programs this in very easily. 

Pitching Slumps 

Hitters might be surprised to learn that there is even such
a thing as a pitching slump…there is. Just like batting, a
pitcher, at times, can feel on top of the world and throwing
his best stuff…and still get shelled. That’s baseball.

Many times a pitcher will get a win when the opposing team
hits everything, yet he is forgiven as the big “W” is posted
after his name because his team just happened to score more. In
either case, of course,  ERA accounts for that in the long
run.

However it happens, again, you want to be the same
person out there on the mound either way…win
or lose…dominating or getting hit hard. That is how
slumps are minimized or ended.

Don’t get me wrong. If you are in a slump, you should go
have your coach or trainer observe your form and fundamentals
by all means.  Whatever you do, never work on
changing any mechanics during game time.  That’s
for practice.

Tom Seaver said:

“Slumps are very difficult things to try to decipher or
decide which way to go to get out of them…The thing is to
discipline yourself mentally, to build on what’s positive
and dismiss what’s negative…”
  

Preventing Extended
Slumps
 

As I mentioned before, if you play baseball, you will
eventually get in a slump. You can, however, create a mental
toughness where it goes no longer than the natural course of
events without you making it worse. You must have cleared your
mental baggage and belief system about slumps from your
unconscious mind. This will allow you to stay focused on the
task at hand and play ball in the moment. Worry and doubt just
don’t appear and the slump ends as fast as it started.  We
do this together in my office or by phone hypnosis. Give me a
call 425-457-7777.

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