By: Coach Bob McCreary
Provided by: Baseball By The Yard
Sooner or later, everyone will catch a cold just like every batter will find himself in a rut or a slump. The two are very similar because no matter what you do, you are going to have both for a few days. Neither one has a cure and both are a nuisance.
Although a common cold and a hitting slump are alike in several ways, most hitters do not react to their slump the same way they react to a cold.
When a typical person gets a cold, they accept a few things right off the bat. They accept it will take a few days to work through their system. They accept that they may need to rest a little more, drink more fluids, and carry around a box of tissues. The cold may slow them down a little but other than that, most just carry on with their normal lives as best they can. They go to work and they go to school. It's usually not a big deal
Unfortunately, the young hitter who finds himself in a slump typically panics. They exhaust themselves taking hundreds of additional swings to iron out their mechanics. They watch hours of film from when they were successful and compare it to their current swing. They agonize over their drop in production and lose hours of sleep. They mentally beat themselves up after at-bats and let it carry over to other areas of the game. As a result, the small rut turns into a bad week, a bad month, or even a bad year.
Treat a slump the same way you treat a cold. Accept that you will have it for a few days. Sleep a little more to give your body some additional energy. Eat and drink right for the same reason. Go about your day and carry on with your life the way you normally would as best you can. Work hard but don't exhaust yourself and certainly don't beat yourself up. You wouldn't do that when you get a cold so don't do it over a slump. All areas of your life don't have to be affected by your cold just like a hitting slump does not have to affect your fielding, base running, or you being a good teammate.
Both a slump and a cold just take time. Accept that and your hitting slump typically will last just a few days/games. Panic and you often prolong the very thing you intend to stop.