Here is a simple question I ask my guys while they’re hitting that often time they do not have an answer to: Where are you looking on the baseball?
There is no one right place on the ball to look for each person! In fact, where you look on the baseball during the pitch can change each day based on how you’re swinging that day, what kind of pitcher is throwing, etc. You may need to make adjustments from pitch to pitch, which we discussed in a previous article. The most important item to consider when looking at the baseball is what kind of focus do you have?
What is “Fine” Focus?
When you’re throwing darts, shooting pool, or playing basketball, where are you looking? Do you just look at your overall target? If you do, how successful are you? I grew up in Indiana as a Hoosier, so I have played a little bit of basketball in my days. I couldn’t do a lot, but I can still outshoot almost anyone in a game of horse. Whenever I am shooting a basketball, I focus on a very particular spot on the rim that I want the ball to hit. If my shot is very strong one day, I’ll focus on the front-center part of the rim, if I’m short, I’ll focus on the back-center. Either way, I have a very small target I am trying to hit.
Whether you are pitching, hitting, or playing basketball, always remember this: If you aim big, you’ll miss big! If you aim small, you’ll miss small.
So what does that mean in hitting?
It means this; the smaller of a dot you are able to focus on the ball, the better chance you have to either hit that dot or if you miss the dot, you’ll likely be very close, still resulting in a ball that is struck very well! However, if you are just looking at the general ball, you have a lot of area to miss because you don’t really have one spot you’re telling your brain to send the bat head to! This will lead to being way under the ball and popping up or being over the ball and pounding it into the ground!
I have seen a lot of mechanically flawed hitters hit very well because they had great vision and fine focus. I have seen a lot of hitters with great swings not hit at all in a game because they couldn’t see the ball! These are what you call 5:00p hitters!
Combining a great swing, great vision, fine focus, and a great approach is what is going to make you a great hitter!