Spring training will begin shortly for major league baseball players.
Similarly, recreational baseball and travel baseball will start for youngsters in River Vale and in Bergen County.
During the spring, I get phone calls and emails every week from baseball players, baseball coaches and parents of high school baseball players.
The callers usually have the following kinds of concerns:
“My youngster is great in the cage, but he has difficulty hitting live pitching in game situations.”
“My daughter or son is stuck in a hitting slump and they don’t know how to get out of it.”
“I can see that my child is anxious and overthinking at the plate. He tells me he is nervous and afraid of disappointing his teammates and his coaches and me if he gets up to bat in an important situation.”
“My youngster wants to make the high school team, but he is worried about his hitting slump.”
How To Break A Hitting Slump In One Hour
Over the years, I have counseled hundreds of baseball players who participate in every level of this sport.
Some time ago, I discovered a simple technique that seems to help a lot of players to end their slumps at the plate.
I simply ask the player to close their eyes, take some very deep breaths and to breathe in relaxation, confidence and focus and to exhale anxiety, worry, self doubt or negativity.
So, your breathing can be very therapeutic and it can help you to get your mind and your body ready to perform to your potential on the field and in the batter’s box.
Age Regression For Baseball Players
Then, I encourage the athlete to allow their mind to go back in time to a time when hitting was easy and when baseball was fun.
I suggest that they recall what number they wore at the time and what color their uniform was.
I also suggest that they recall how their cleats felt on the field and how the grass and the dirt felt on their feet and how comfortable the bat felt in their strong hands.
“At the plate, the ball looked large, their mind was focused on one idea or they had an empty mind that really trusted their swing.”
I also remind them of their favorite coach, favorite teammates and how much fun they can have playing ball and how the game seemed simple, easier and less complicated in the past.
“And you can use some of your early experiences to discover the mental gear you need to hit the ball hard now as you listen to my voice.”
Before I ask the player to come out of the trance, I will tell them that they can activate their inner champion from their youth whenever they need to by simply recalling how they felt early on in their baseball career.
In addition, “Every time they grip their bat, they can recall and activate the confidence, focus, relaxation that they experienced when they listened to my voice.”
This simple technique has worked with many players from major leaguers to youngsters.
Some of the players like to listen to a recording of this mental exercise on their phones prior to getting to the field, in the locker room or in the dugout. Others like to listen to this visualization exercise at bed time.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, author and the Founder of www.StayInTheZone.com. He has counseled top athletes from every sport from around the world. Dr. Granat has been featured in many media outlets including The New York Times and Good Morning America. He can be reached at 201647-9191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.