I love the art and science of hitting! I always have, and because I grew up without the internet, when I became a coach I bought books. It was my belief that only the smartest people in their given field wrote those books. Most of those books were written by former famous “artists” (players) who told us how they did it. Some of the information in the numerous hitting manuals that I studied went against my own educational beliefs in the areas of motor learning, exercise physiology and sports medicine. Being a scientist made me skeptical of some of the traditional “beliefs” that have been passed down about hitting a baseball well.
Enter Robert Kemp Adair in 1987, Sterling Professor of Physics, Yale University and Physicist to the National League. His book “The Physics of Baseball” This is my “go to” when it come to hitting theory because it takes most of the “theory” out. For instance, in his chapter on hitting he speaks of the perfect full swing and the real time events involved in the process. 100 milliseconds for the eye to see the ball and send a message to the brain. 75 milliseconds for the brain to process info. 25 milliseconds to make a decision to swing. 15 milliseconds for the legs to start the swing at a 3-inch spinning ball within 1/8-inch of its center and at precisely the right millisecond! Now we are talking real science!
With all the perpetrators of misinformation out there, we can always count on a true scientist (with letters behind his name) to help decipher WHY some guys hit and some guys miss!
Don’t be afraid to ask “why” to the guy who works with your kid!
Coach Eaton MS,CSCS