Every baseball player experiences it….an 0-for-3 or 0-for-4 in a game or maybe even a couple of games in a row or longer. It hurts and is emotionally painful, I know, I’ve been there myself in my playing days. It’s even worse when you go 0-fer because you aren’t connecting with the ball and striking out or making weak outs in the field. All sorts of negative thoughts and doubts start going through your head.
“What’s wrong with me?”
“Is my swing off?”
Why am I not seeing the ball coming at me like I used to?”
You start thinking that you are losing confidence or maybe even someone used the word, “confidence,” around you and it stings.
What do you do? How do you get out of this negative spiral as a hitter?
Well, first off, I have worked with countless players who have come to me for “lack of, or low confidence” at the plate. Parents and coaches will say the same thing, “He just needs to get his confidence back.”
Well I’ve got news for you. The problem is not about confidence at all.
Follow me here…the definition of confidence is the belief in your ability to do something. So, if you have batted well in the past and all of a sudden you have a string of no hits, does that mean you can’t hit well again? Of course not. That’s why this isn’t about confidence and why so many hitters struggle to come back from 0-fers because they aren’t tackling the real problem:
In particular, it is mostly a fear of failure. Confidence cannot occur in the presence of fear.
You see, what happens in a hitter’s mind after they have a string of no hits is they start imagining all of the bad stuff that follows when you stop getting hits. You lose your position in the batting order. You sit the bench. You see the disappointment in your coach’s, parents’, and teammates’ faces.
A lot of this happens unconsciously and sort of in the background of your mind. Some of it is front and center.
Either way, your body starts triggering into a tense (fear response) state every time you get in the on-deck circle and it doesn’t quit when you step into the batter’s box. That tension is what destroys your swing and keeps you from hitting well and may turn into a full-blown slump.
How do we stop this cycle?
Well, there are many facets to this “fear of failure” thing, but the bottom line is that you have to be able to “go there” in your mind (to the bad things that can happen), in advance, and develop a plan to bounce back if it ever happens. Then, you won’t fear it any more and the cycle will never happen and an 0-fer will be nothing more than that and your natural hitting ability WILL COME AROUND and naturally get you back to hitting well.
Ask yourself what you will do if and when you ever get bumped from your starting positon. What will you do? Will you just quit playing baseball? Will you give up on life? Is your life over?
NO!!! You will go back to the drawing board, with help from coaches and experts, and figure out what you need to do to come back…and that includes working on your mental game.
If you are ready to have a mental game process that allows you to have the occasional 0-fer and the ability to bounce back quickly, call me at 855-566-4867 and let’s get to work!!!