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Tips to Fix a Baseball Hitting Slump

by
author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
Tips to Fix a Baseball Hitting Slump
Three baseball players are sitting in the dugout. Photo Credit Donald Miralle/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Hitting slumps are a part of the game. The best hitters in baseball will hit .300, meaning they only succeed three times out of 10. When a hitter goes more than two games without getting a hit, he can be classified as being in a slump. Getting out of that slump and hitting the ball hard again requires strong fundamentals, patience and confidence.

Take a Consistent Approach

Good hitters take a consistent approach to hitting the baseball. When it comes to the batting stance, the stride toward the pitcher, the swinging of the bat and the follow through, most good hitters will not make changes very often. You have to be comfortable at the plate and you have to find a swing -- which is your signature -- that you are comfortable using every day. You may make minor adjustments depending on the pitcher you are facing and the pitches you may see, but you must take the same approach to hitting each time you come to the plate.

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Connect for Line Drives

The best way to get out of a slump is to concentrate on hitting line drives. Even if you are a power hitter, the main idea of hitting the ball consistently is to make solid contact with the ball. You need to concentrate on hitting the ball where it's pitched and hitting it hard. Put the idea of hitting the ball over the fence completely out of your mind. Home runs are usually the result of a good hitter making solid contact. Hank Aaron finished his career with 755 home runs and is one of baseball's most accomplished players. He said he never considered himself a home run hitter but the more he tried to hit line drives, the further the ball went. "I only wanted to hit the ball hard," Aaron said. "I did not try to hit the ball over the fence." This allowed Aaron to avoid lengthy slumps.

Wait for a Good Pitch

Pitchers know when they are facing hitters who are slumping. A batter who has not had a hit in a few days is likely to be anxious at the plate and will swing at pitches that are out of the strike zone. If you are in a slump, you cannot expand the strike zone and try to hit pitches that are balls. That works into the pitcher's hands and places the slumping hitter at a greater disadvantage. While it is understandable that the hitter will be anxious when slumping, that anxiety cannot manifest itself by the hitter expanding the strike zone.

Stay Confident

This is probably the most important factor when a hitter goes into a slump. All hitters go into a slump from time to time. That includes Aaron, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey, Albert Pujols and even Babe Ruth. Knowing that you are a good hitter and that you will eventually come out of it will help you make start hitting the ball hard once again. If you are concerned that you have been hitless in your last 12 at bats and you'll never get a hit again, your slump is likely to last longer. But if you just go about your business, working on other aspects of your game like defense and base running, you will find that you'll get one or two hits and you'll soon be out of your slump.

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