Every single softball player has experienced a hitting slump at one point or another in their career. Many players have probably had multiple hitting slumps and that is totally normal. Hitting slumps are very common in softball and baseball. Batting averages change all of the time. There is a reason why a great batting average is anything over .300. If a player has a batting average of .300, that means they have got a hit three out of ten at bats. If you look at it from the other way, a .300 batter failed seven out of 10 times to achieve that statistic.
Hitting slumps are inevitable in softball and the length of them cannot be predicted. Hitting slumps can be extremely frustrating for hitters especially for those who find themselves playing at the higher levels. College coaches are going to always play their top nine hitters on the team. If you can hit, you will play. If you aren’t hitting or find yourself in a hitting slump, you may find yourself on the bench for a few games.
Below are three ways for hitters at all levels to break out of a softball hitting slump.
- Put in Extra Work: This is the most logical way and something that would be recommended by all coaches to a struggling hitter. If you find yourself in a hitting slump, take some extra cuts off a tee by yourself or with your coach’s guidance. Swings are very complex and if one thing is off, it will be difficult to make productive contact. Putting in extra work will also help build up the hitter’s confidence. Knowing they are putting more work in will help bring them peace of mind and put them in a better mind frame.
- Practice Visualization: The mental side of hitting is just as important as the physical side. Practicing visualization is an advanced technique but once mastered will help benefit the struggling hitter. Visualization allows hitters to see and feel their body movements. By visualizing their swing and making contact with the ball will carry over to their hitting in practices and in games. First, train your mind then apply it.
- Take a Step Back: If the first two tips don’t break you out of your hitting slump take a step back. There are many different ways to go about this step. The first option could be to take some time away from the game. This may be impossible to do during the season, but maybe a game on the bench would be a good way to get your mind right again. Second, re-set your goals. If your goal is you reach a certain batting average, set some smaller goals under that goal to help shift your focus. This will take the pressure of the big goal away and you can work towards achieving the smaller goals first. The third option and another controllable for a hitter are to get your eyes checked. As we age our eyesight worsens. It seems silly but you wouldn’t believe how many hitters are in slumps because they can’t see the ball as well as they used to.
Hitting slumps are extremely common in the sport of softball. A hitting slump doesn’t define you as a player. How you react and respond to the slump does. If you find yourself in a hitting slump, practice applying one or all of the tips above. Soon enough you will break out of your slump and be back to your confident hitting self.