Slumps — every player has experienced the feeling that they may never get another hit. The ball looks like a grain of sand as it leaves the pitcher hand and it seems to get smaller as it moves towards home plate. Your bat feels like a 200-pound hunk of iron in your hands and you have no chance today.
Here is something that is going to raise an eye brow or two!
A slump is a choice that hitters make. Or rather, it is a series of choices that a hitter makes. But make no mistake about it, hitters choose to create the slump they find themselves in.
Whoa, what the h#!! are you talking about, hitters choose to be in a slump?
Yes, yes they do.
Let me explain.
All hitters face a never-ending series of choices. These choices are tied to what happens every time they swing. Either they love the swing they took or they don’t.
The problem is the choice they make when they take a swing they don’t like. Most hitters just shrug their shoulders and either ignore the fact that they just took a jacked up swing or quickly decide that it isn’t a big deal so why worry about it.
What should hitters do?
If they take a swing they love, they should spend a split second celebrating the fact that they just did a great job. They should positively reinforce the fact that they did exactly what they wanted to do.
If they take a swing that is anything less than a swing they are in love with, they need to immediately analyze what went wrong and try to correct it.
No they shouldn’t dwell on what went wrong, but rather do a quick check in. Did I feel strong? Powerful? Dynamic? Balanced? Hurried? Surprised? Or any of a limitless list of things that’ll tell them something is wrong, and then they should try something that will solve that issue.
What happens if their solution doesn’t solve the problem? No worries, try something else and repeat until you are back in love with your swing.
Slumps are a choice. When a hitter chooses to ignore something that doesn’t feel right, they are setting themselves up for heartache! They are throwing their hands up and saying they are a victim of circumstances, rather than in control of their success.
Be a problem solver not a victim!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.