I’m in a slump. Need evidence? Unusual amount of prodding needed to start work — check. Straggling late students — check. A student asked me if I’m so good at math, why didn’t I become a engineer or a mathematician, don’t they make more money? Maybe he was just curious, or maybe I seem out of sorts. That’s how I feel.
Oh boy, well there’s a lot on the brain these days. The team meeting today turned into a Joe meeting — the subject of another post. (Do not worry… I still love my team.) It has to do with this and this. And of course my SBG report card is overdue [self reminder: just like my library books]. For now, let’s use “top hit logic” to figure a way out of my November slump.
7 Ways to Crush a
Hitting Teaching Slump
[My modifications are pretty obvious; original article by Jon Doyle here]
Baseball Teaching is a very humbling game, even for the world’s greatest players. At any given time, there’s countless Major Leaguers going through a slump.
So, what do you do? How do you help someone in a slump?
The Causes of a Slump
Most people actually think slumps are created by the [teacher] doing something wrong with their
mechanics management. However, what usually causes an ongoing slump is how the [teacher] is affected mentally. Physical problems are easy to identify and fix. Start with the following basic checklist and then move into the mental aspect.
Physical Solutions to a Slump
Videotape the [teacher] in a live game situation. If you can only get batting practice footage, that is ok, but a real game is best.
- Pick out any flaws you may see.
- Show the hitter so he or she recognizes the problem and then pick out one or two drills to help with this mechanical flaw.
- Get their eyes checked — you’d be surprised how often this fixes slumps!
The good news about getting out of a slump is all it takes is one good swing. A [solid lesson] and a ball that finds a hole is good enough for a two-hit game and the slump is history.
The quickest, yet most difficult, task is getting the [teacher] to believe the above is true — A [teaching] streak is just ONE swing away…
Mental Solutions to a Slump
Do whatever it takes to get the hitter some confidence. Some suggestions:
- Let them get a feeling for solid contact. Get them back in their comfort zone and let them get their feel back.
- Have someone they respect compliment them. Whether it’s a good player or opposing coach, have that individual tell them their swing looks good and to keep up the good work. More often than not, a “slump” is much bigger in the [teacher]’s eyes than it is to everyone else. Sometimes all it takes is a compliment for the [teacher] to see this.
- Practice visualization. Studies show that visualization is an effective form of “practice” and does carry over to the real world. All great hitters use visualization of some form. It doesn’t have to be weird and kooky, simply learn to “see and feel” yourself taking a good swing and making solid [lesson plans].
Some temporary solutions: Start off everyday with a can’t-lose hook (sounds obvious and easier said than done). Keep free-for-all work time to a minimum, and maximize the amount of student academic talk time. And frame the lesson more clearly!