Sportress of Blogitude

Aaron Judge reveals secret habit he uses to refocus himself

Aaron Judge has divulged a habit he uses during at-bats when he feels the need to refocus and slow things down. And it’s often so subtle that even his New York Yankees teammates have scarcely noticed.

And it all involves reaching down and picking up some dirt in between pitches.

“For me, it’s just a way of slowing things down, taking an extra two or three seconds to grab some dirt,” Judge said, via ESPN’s Andrew Marchand. “For me, all my negative thoughts that I have about, ‘How did you miss that pitch? Why did you miss that pitch? You shouldn’t have missed that pitch.’ I just kind of sit there and kind of crush it up, and once I’m done doing that … I just kind of toss it aside.

“For me, that’s basically tossing all those thoughts out, like, ‘Hey, that’s done with. That’s over with now. Start fresh and get back in the box and get back to your positive thoughts and get back to your approach.’”

Judge has been using the dirt-scooping practice since his college days at Fresno State after reading a book co-written by sports psychologist Ken Ravizza entitled “Heads-Up Baseball.” Judge also has a habit of chewing two pieces of Dubble Bubble gum until he records an out at the plate.

It’s safe to say Judge’s peculiar habits have paid enormous dividends this season, although the case can be made that he hasn’t needed to reboot much during at-bats given how the outfielder has taken Major League Baseball by storm.

But ever since winning the Home Run Derby, Judge has been in a funk at the plate. Following an 0-for-3 night in Monday’s 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins, Judge remains mired in a 1-for-21 slump.

Despite the recent struggles, though, Judge is still slashing at a .311/.432/.649 clip to go along with 30 home runs and 66 RBI while remaining the front-runner for AL Rookie of the Year honors, if not MVP.

With all that in mind, until he busts out of his current slump, expect to see Judge keep grabbing handfuls of dirt during his at-bats.