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Trouble looking at the ball...

Monday, July 06, 2009 by Louis

I have been having trouble with my looking at the ball any suggestions?


July 6, 2009 at 11:14 AM

Frozen Ropes Staff says:

Looking at the ball requires a commitment to make the thrown ball the priority in the hitting process.

You see more when you look less, by that we mean that in an open focus mode (not soft or fine as the eye doctors preach) you will see more in this non-judgmental seeing strategy. Make sure you are not using the "watch the ball hit the bat" and "head down" nonsense you hear from well meaning coaches.
August 4, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Patrick says:

One of the best ways I've gotten my clients to watch the ball is to have them imagine a quarter sized area in the middle of the ball while maintaining a strong neck. The neck must remain strong so your eyes don't move while the ball is in its delivery. Try it.
September 7, 2009 at 6:36 PM

Caleb Allen says:

"See the ball hit the bat" is far from nonsense. I do agree that you can focus to hard and lose track of the ball, but you have to see the ball all the way in no matter who you are.
My visual approach as a hitter was start at the pitchers belt, up to the hat, then over to release point. Your best vision is usually when you first focus on an object. But when you get to technical you will take away your positive mental approach.

I say "see ball hit ball." If you can't do that your probably in the wrong sport.
October 13, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Andrew says:

That's funny - a Frozen Ropes instructor was the one who told me in a coach training session that I should tell my players to watch the ball hit the bat. And you know what? It works. I have seen a dozen or more young hitters go from swinging and missing to making consistent contact that way.

And if my head is not down, where is it supposed to be? Am I watching the ball with my peripheral vision, or what? All those major leaguers seem to have their heads down...
November 5, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Tom says:

Seeing the ball hit the bat is a long standing misnomer in teaching hitting. If you watch a video of any major leaguer, it would be rare to see him watching the ball hit the bat. First off, your hips can NOT turn properly if your head is looking down. Second, You can not physically make an adjustment to the ball all the way to the bat. The swing plane is determined long before the ball gets to the plate.
Epstein Hitting Instructor
November 27, 2009 at 10:36 AM

BJ says:

My question to you is to be a little more specific of you thinking, that's your problem ?. It could be lack of timing due to not enough batting practice and knowing how to position or adjust your self to the pitch.If you are not making good contact. Whatever your batting stance is, at the plate take a deep breathe and relax , tune everything out except that
I was watching a friend of mine at bat in a game one night and he can really hit, but this night he was really struggling at bat. I walk around to their dugout and call him to the side and told him to relax and his step was too long and to keep his head up and don't worry where the ball go just make good contact and the ball will find a hole. The next time @ bat he knocked a monster of a homerun. I myself was a coach and I took all my players to another level.
November 27, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Carl says:

You can never see the ball hit the bat or Tennis racquet....Your not literally watching the ball hit the bat it just a way to keep your focus and head down...Perdue University Professor explains it well

December 28, 2009 at 2:10 AM

Jon says:

If you are looking for a drill. Get some wiffle golf balls and have someone throw them to you as you swing with a thunderstick (a broom handle works as well). This forces you to track the ball as long as possible otherwise you will not make contact.
I wouldn't say that "watch the ball" and "head down" are nonsense. I understand that it is near impossible to actually see the ball impact the bat, however the act of seeing the ball as long as possible and keeping your head from flying out does aid you in making solid contact. If your head flies out your hips will follow opening up the outside part of the plate and making you susceptible to anything away.
May 6, 2010 at 10:45 AM

Jim Lowe says:

The biggest problem with the advice of watching the ball hit the bat is that for young players it almost always leads to slower bat speed through the strike zone. When very young players attempt to watch the ball hit the bat they tend to slow down the swing in an attempt to just make contact. Of course thats just wrong, following the ball into the strike zone from the pitchers delivery is however key. The reflex to swing starts long before you actually "see the ball" as it crosses the plate.

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