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How to Get Out of a Hitting Slump Fast

Many hitters (and coaches) get this wrong. Here’s what actually works.

How to get out of a hitting slump: 7 proven tips you probably haven't heard

Hitting slumps can stem from bad luck, bad timing, bad swings, or all of the above. And as a hitter, it can feel like your world is ending.

Trust me, I went through plenty of rough stretches in my college baseball career (including a playoff game where I struck out four straight times in front of everyone I know).

The first step to getting out of a slump is to identify what kind of slump you’re in.

Are you hitting ropes that are just getting caught? Or are you striking out swinging more than usual?

If it’s the former, you’ll be fine.  Don’t panic, and don’t change your approach.

However, if it’s the latter, you might get some use out of the tips below. They’re quite different from the cookie-cutter advice you’ll see elsewhere on the internet.

Here’s how to get out of a hitting slump fast.

Table of Contents

1.) Should I Take Extra BP?

Taking extra batting practice when you're in a hitting slump can be the wrong decision

This is a common spot where a lot of players (and coaches) mess up. And I know I’m going against the grain a bit here with this recommendation.

Most slumps are mental. So, if you’re an over-thinker, you should take time away from extra BP. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Those extra swings are only getting you more in your own head.
  2. Swinging when you’re fatigued causes you to develop bad habits.

Keep your BP rounds short. Clear your mind, and let it rip. But when you’re done swinging that day, be done with it. Go home, eat some good food, and get your mind off of hitting for a while.

Now, on the other hand, if you’re the type of guy the coach has to push to “work harder”, you might want to take those extra swings. If you hate just hitting off a tee, then check out these hitting drills to spice things up and keep it fresh.

All in all, you are the only person who knows what you need. The ability to self-correct is one of the most overlooked skills a ballplayer can possess. And any slump is a chance to learn about yourself as a player and a person.

2.) Stop Checking Your Stats

This is the biggest problem I saw as both a college hitter and a college coach.

It’s easy to obsess over your stats and calculate every number in your head every single time you walk up to the plate. You want to lead the team in every category, you want to win awards, and you want to play at the next level.

But guess what? Being a “stats guy” is selfish. And it’s probably causing you to overthink things at the plate.

When you’re going bad, you can spend all day stressing about your batting average slipping below a certain mark. Or, you can focus on what really counts – putting together good at-bats and helping the team win.

Which type of player do you want to be remembered as? The guy who obsessed over his stats, or the guy who put winning above any and every individual accomplishment?

3.) Take “Mental At-Bats”

Take mental at-bats when you're in the dugout and your teammates are hitting
Use your downtime wisely.

When your team is up to bat and you’re in the dugout, are you joking around with your teammates, spitting seeds, and daydreaming?  If so, here’s a tip: put 100% of your focus on the pitcher and how he’s approaching your hitters.

When a teammate steps up to the plate, put yourself in his shoes.  In each count, assess how the pitcher is attacking him.

Is he starting off every righty with an outside fastball? Does he lean more on his breaking ball with 2 strikes? These are all tendencies that will likely repeat themselves throughout the game – including when you come to the plate.

Arm yourself with knowledge so you’re better equipped to face the pitcher when it’s your turn to hit. You’ll notice yourself putting together better at-bats and feeling more confident at the plate (more on this later).

4.) One Pitch at a Time

Total cliché, but it needs to be said.

Slumps can stem from getting ahead of yourself, and trying to do too much at the plate. One bad at-bat turns into two, and then the next thing you know you’re 0 for 5 on the day.  Or worse, 0 for 10 or 11 in a doubleheader.

Failure is a part of the game. It’s your job to deal with that, or pick a different sport.

Check out this famous quote from one of the all-time great hitters, Ted Williams:

“Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

Next time you step up to the plate, do me a favor. Take a big deep breath. Loosen up your grip on the bat. And focus on one pitch at a time.

If at any point you catch yourself thinking, “Oh shoot, I’m 0 for 3 on the day. I need to get a hit in this at-bat or my average will drop even more,” go back to point #3 and read it again.

5.) Trust Your Swing

Trust your swing at the plate and stop overthinking
Read and react.

Overthinking the basics is a common problem slumping hitters face.

No, this isn’t the time to rebuild your entire swing. It’s time to double down and trust the fundamentals that got you to where you are today.

Whether you’re in Little League, high school, or college, the story is the same. You’re in the lineup because your coach believes in you (and you’ll want to thank him for that someday).

So instead of pressing, and forcing it at the plate, go back to the basics. See the ball, hit the ball. See the pitch and simply allow yourself to react to it.

Trust the work you’ve put in – the thousands of swings you’ve taken over your lifetime. Your swing will do the work for you.

6.) Unlock the Confidence Key

Accomplishment is the key to confidence. And when you’re in a slump, you probably can’t remember the last time you felt “accomplished” on the baseball field.

So, let’s get one small win under your belt. This can include:

  • Working a walk
  • Executing a hit and run
  • Hitting a ball hard (even if it’s caught)
  • Putting the ball in play with two strikes (see point #7)

Trust me when I say that a small win is right around the corner. And after you get one, it’s just a matter of stacking those small wins and building momentum.

Before you know it, you’ll be back to feeling like yourself again at the plate.

If you want to learn more about the mental side of the game, check out the book linked below. It helped me tremendously whenever I was slumping in college.

Certified Slump-Buster
The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance
4.7
$12.89

There's a reason critics call this "the classic guide to mental performance enhancement for baseball". Grab this book and find out first-hand why ballplayers around the nation have been raving about it for decades.

Joker Mag is reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.
03/08/2024 05:35 pm GMT

7.) Battle with 2-Strikes

Go to battle when you find yourself in a 2-strike count. This hitter is choking up on the bat to make contact.
Do whatever it takes to make contact with two strikes. Even if it means choking up.

When you’re in a slump, it’s easy to feel like the cards are stacked against you. It feels like no matter what you do, you’re behind in every count.

“OK, I’m gonna wait for my pitch.”

The next thing you know it’s 0-2 after two breaking balls on the black. Now what?

Take pride in your two-strike approach. Bear down and go to battle with the pitcher. Even if it means choking up, moving closer to the plate, or doing anything else that’ll allow you to focus on just putting the bat on the ball.

If you’re on a long stretch of a lot of strikeouts, just putting the ball in play with two strikes is a win.

Check out this video of a great two-strike battle by Martin Prado. This is exactly the approach I’m talking about.

Do whatever it takes to make contact and put the ball in play. From there, anything can happen.

To sum it up, here are the 7 keys to breaking out of your hitting slump:

  • Stop checking your stats. Focus on helping your team win.
  • Take “mental at-bats” when your team is up to bat.
  • If you’re an overthinker, skip extra BP.
  • Take it one pitch at a time.
  • Trust the swing that got you here.
  • Get one small win to build momentum.
  • Go to battle with two strikes.

Best of luck in your next game! Feel free to bookmark this article and come back to it whenever you need a refresher.

Drop a comment below and let me know how you’re feeling at the plate.

Written By

Division III baseball alum (McDaniel College) and founder of Joker Mag. Sharing underdog stories to inspire the next generation.

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