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Is it time for a sports psychologist?

May 15, 2008
Cape Cod Mass.
Hitting off a machine is only good for practicing mechanics. Hitting in games is completely different. How is her understanding of the theoretical side of hitting, inside vs outside, etc. As you move up it's no longer a 'one swing fits all' game.
Feb 5, 2019
Small attainable goals will help build confidence. Something like a sacrifice bunt might do wonders. Just make contact. Just put it I'm play.

I told my DD (and son) to not strike-out looking. If she does that I'm ok with it. Then, the next goal was just put it in play and force the defense to make a play. That worked for me.

Good luck!
Mar 22, 2016
Southern California
I’m not going into long boring details on how we got here, but my daughter might be battling more than just a hitting slump. A year ago, last Fall she was batting .612 with a slugging percentage of .800. (Her team posted stats on game changer) Her freshman high school season before that was similar, maybe even better numbers. And it goes on, 14u both years before that, same. Now a year later she is struggling mentally at the plate big time. This has been pretty much since last March high school season and it went right through TB season. She went from 3-4 hole hitter to 12th on Saturdays to sitting out hitting on Sundays. She sees a hitting coach. It doesn’t seem to be mechanics. I think it’s definitely a mental block. Practices for Fall start next week. The elephant in the room is, (nobody is talking about it) she is entering her junior year. Big recruitment year. She’s been on the tee and she sees her hitting coach as much as she can. Tonight I took her to the batting cages. The fastest they had available for softball is 45 mph. She was hoping for 55 mph as she is playing 18u. So she went into the 45 mph. She was the only one there so she could take her time she wanted. She hit probably a little more than 50%. Mostly quality hits. I looked at it as a good thing. She came away like it was bad. If anyone is interested I have some video of her hitting last Fall. I can pm it. I just don’t know how she was doing so well and it appeared like her mechanics were solid to now she swings and misses and her body language doesn’t appear confident at all. Side note: she was at a different high school for her freshman year. Very Much success. Her sophomore season (last year) new school. New coach. I believe this is where the spiral started and her TB coach this past season didn’t help things for her confidence.

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How's your daughter doing @GoRight?
Jun 11, 2013
Hitting 50 percent off a 45 MPH pitch machine would have me really concerned unless she was just out front of everything. I would really check out her eyes if the dropoff is this bad. Our son had an issue when he was younger.
Jun 27, 2018
How's your daughter doing @GoRight?
Thanks for asking. She’s doing better. Her confidence is coming back, I think. I would say she was dealing with some anxiety issues as well outside of softball. Basically she is/was too much of a perfectionist and she was setting her bar too high and she didn’t deal well if a coach was negative because she was then beating herself up about it. Like she couldn’t let it go. She really is trying to understand that it’s ok and it doesn’t mean anything if she fails. She’s made some progress over the last few months. She has had many discussions with us as parents and we tell her it’s absolutely ok to make mistakes. Her hitting coach (who we adore) talks to her and tells her it’s ok to color out of the lines a little bit. We just had our first tournament this past weekend (since last Fall). She did great. Her swag seems to be coming back. Defensively she did really well making two big plays yesterday. She had 6 at bats. She made contact and put the ball in play every time. That’s major progress from where she was last year. Two times she ended up on base (they were on errors ) and the others were ground outs or pop flies. But still it’s progress. That’s another thing, she’s extremely humble. We told her it’s ok to have confidence and swag, it’s another thing to be cocky and arrogant. She never wants to brag or appear arrogant. She doesn’t want to come off like that. This is a kid who is headed to D3 and she’s planning on majoring in psychology and getting a masters in counseling. She feels a deep desire to help people.

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Mar 10, 2020
Hitting 50 percent off a 45 MPH pitch machine would have me really concerned unless she was just out front of everything. I would really check out her eyes if the dropoff is this bad. Our son had an issue when he was younger.
45mph off a machine is a recipe for timing failure against pitching at that age level.
Jun 16, 2010
Machines are nearly useless.
Actually harmful most of time
Too easy to anticipate ....regardless of speed
But fun

Soft toss from behind a close screen is 95% of hitting work at all ages. IME. Work on form and hitting in all locations.
Jun 27, 2018
Ok so my daughter’s 18u team she tried out for and made, folded due to the coach stepping down. I do not know the reason why this happened but we are scrambling for a team now. One coach she tried out for used a hitting machine, and out of about 3 buckets of pitches she got maybe one decent hit and a few fouled off. The rest were swing and misses. She hasn’t hit off a machine in years. Probably not making that team just based on that performance with the hitting machine. Sad because she’s been raking the ball lately.

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May 12, 2016
Murphdog as far as I know, no. No boyfriend. Small circle of friends. Honors student and she does volunteer work. She seems to open up and talk a lot to us. Seems pretty content in home life.

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She did start a new school right? That's a big change , especially high school.

Has she gone through a growth spurt? New bat?

That's some drastic changes in hitting.. like many other have said, vision is usually the most common cause.. and pitching getting better. But the performance off the machine eliminates better pitching. What happens if she tries to bunt off the machine, any issues squaring the ball up?

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