Hitting slumps. They suck. It’s hard to tell from where I sit whether they suck more for the parents or for the player.
Because although it must really stink going up to the plate and deciding it may be better to just close your eyes and swing and pray than actually try, its equally as hard for the parents watching. ((Seriously, it’s hard))
And it’s really hard to just keep saying “No worries kid, you’ll get it next time” while murmuring curse words under your breath.
Because FOR REAL IF SHE WOULD JUST LISTEN TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING SHE WOULD BE HITTING DINGERS….. AND OMG SHE WILL NOT LISTEN!
Part of the problem is that we say wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much.
We start recanting everything that anyone has ever said in the history of softball in regard to hitting. And we have our hitting coach
“It’s your front foot! Keep your head on the ball! See the ball hit the ball! Load up. Your weight is out on your front foot. Choke up. Loosen your grip. Tighten your grip. See it out of the pitcher’s hand. Move up in the box. Move back in the box. Take a breath! Throw your hands at the ball! Stand tall! Stop Reaching!
And the best one yet. STOP THINKING about IT (as we hurl tons of things TO THINK about at her)
And on, and on and on, we go.
We mean well. We really do. We just want our kids to succeed and be happy and HIT THE DANG BALL. Because LAWD knows and we know, they can. And we want this slump to end before she starts picking splinters out of her butt from the bench.
Here’s the thing. The best thing that WE can do, and our kids can do is
KEEP IT SIMPLE
I remember a while ago having a ton of weird medical stuff going on that had me going to tons of doctors and seriously diagnosing myself with some illness that is fatal within a year and only happens to every 1 out 5.6 million people. I was sure I was that 1.
Then I went to a dentist and was trying to explain everything to him and he said
With most things in life, it is always the simplest thing that is wrong. We complicate things too much for ourselves.
And you know what….he was SPOT ON. All this suffering I was enduring was because of a stupid infected tooth. It really was the simplest thing. The CT scans and MRI’s and blood work and weird tests never solved the problem but sure did cause a boatload of more stress. But that man pulled a bum tooth and I was singing Hallelujah praises in no time.
The same is true with softball and hitting slumps. It’s just the simplest thing.
The trick is to keep things simple when our kids are struggling. ON or off the field. To not overwhelm them with the likeness of GOOGLE MD, and not diagnose their problem as something 600 million times bigger than it is.
So when they are in that slump, you keep it simple.
You say nothing unless asked. And when asked, you just go back to the very basics of hitting and make the tiniest simple adjustment without throwing them 400 million things to think about when they step in the box.
And that our softball peeps, is how you fix a hitting slump.