One of the things that excite me the most is an intelligent question. Intelligent questions will either cause me to say, “I will get back to you soon on that one” or “Let me explain now.
A team from North Carolina recently traveled to Georgia to play in a Perfect Game tournament at the new Lakepoint Park. My schedule prevented me from speaking to the team in person, but it didn’t stop me from answering these two amazing question they had for me.
“How can I work through hitting slumps when it starts to play mind games and impacts my confidence level?
“How do I convince myself to stay focused and not worry about the last at bat or my hitting slump?”
My philosophy when answering questions like this is simple: Ask me a shallow frequently asked question, and I will give you the same type answer in my response. Ask me a deep question, and the answer will be of a deep nature in my response.
Let me say this: The desired outcome in anything you do is success, but slumps are inevitable. So, what bridges the gap between the two. It is survival.
Slumps happen to the best of us. A slump is declined failure backward. You can’t control what you aren’t aware of. Awareness must comes first, followed by making adjustments and action.
Negative causes of declined failure backward include arrogance, negative attitude and negative action.
- Arrogance – because you are insecure and you’ve achieved some undeserved success
- Attitude – negative because you are no longer achieving the unearned success
- Action – little to none, because you don’t feel you need to do anything different other than achieve unearned success
Diamond Skill Build Drill – Swing Assessment
Positive causes of declined failure backwards
Its simply a part of the game. Survival is the persistent existence of work ethic, despite failure that leads to success.
Work Ethic is based on six core values:
- Excellence is fulfilling what’s expected of you.
- Humility is thinking of yourself less to the benefit of others.
- Integrity is doing the right thing, even though you can do the wrong thing.
- Loyalty is your proven commitment during both good and bad times.
- Stewardship is protecting all that is entrusted to you, especially your talents and gifts.
- Teamwork is your ability to depend on others in order to accomplish great things that benefit everyone.
Three of the best ways to work through slumps to get to survival:
1. Maintain a good eating, training, studying and resting routine
2. Weekly hitting skills assessments such as hitting targets using a tee
Major Leaguers – 30% hits
Collegiate – 25% hits
High School – 20% hits
Diamond Skill Build Drill – Swing Assessment http://youtu.be/ltLS45wrOh8
3. Focus on Quality At Bats that lead to hits
Quality at bats consists of:
- Draw a walk
- See at least 6 pitches per at bat regardless of the outcome
- Hit the ball hard anywhere regardless of the outcome
- Execution of an offensive situation
A quality at bat 50% of the time generally leads to hits 30 percent to 40 percent of the time.
And then there’s the success achieved because of the slumps and survival.
This would have been my shallow responses.
“How can I work through hitting slumps when it starts to play mind games and impacts my confidence level? How do I convince myself to stay focused and not worry about the last at bat or my hitting slump?”
- Be aware of the reasons why you’re in the slump phase.
- Move to survival phase with good and consistent work ethic.
- Success is best when achieved through a process.
- Confidence can be found in the numbers. Keep track of your quality at bats and let the fans keep track of the batting average.
- Is easy to stay focused when you play baseball because it’s your calling rather than a hobby.
- The most successful hitters are still chronic failures compared to pilot and heart surgeons.
Remember: Intelligence trumps being smart.
C.J. Stewart has built a reputation as one of the leading professional hitting instructors in the country. He is a former professional baseball player in the Chicago Cubs organization and has also served as an area scout for the Cincinnati Reds. As founder and CEO of Diamond Directors Player Development, CJ has more than 12 years of player development experience and has built an impressive list of clients, including some of the top young prospects in baseball today. If your desire is to change your game for the better, C.J Stewart has a proven system of development and track record of success that can work for you.