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Shedding a little light on the 'center of the ball'


Posted by: George (dragonet@home.com) on Thu Mar 2 07:52:56 2000


Why do some 'swings down' drive the ball into the ground and others drive the ball beyond the infield? When is the optimal time for the bat to make contact with the face of the ball ?. I was thinking about a practical method of access the angles created between the bat and the incoming ball upon contact. Then I thought - let's try strapping a flash light to the bat head and literally 'see' the projected path of the bat head as the light illuminates a stationary ball
on a tee. The test takes place once the hips then shoulders rotate toward the ball and just after the hands begin to move 'down' toward the ball.
The results seem to indicate that after a certain point , the longer the batter waits on the ball and the ball moves over the plate area, the less the light from the flash light illuminates the face of the ball and begins to shine on the upper half and eventually mostly on top of the ball. If the 'swing down' occurs at this time the upper portion of the ball is more likely to be hit thus driving the ball into the ground. The same pitch if hit earlier would provide the batter with a greater chance of contacting the face of the ball. Just place the ball on the tee a little out in front of the batter then shine the flash light on the ball and you see the entire face of the ball illuminated. It would appear that the optimal time to contact the ball and drive it into center field is while the ball is still a little out in front of the batter. Shouldn't there be more emphasis placed on the 'point of contact and timing aspects' of the 'swing down' ?


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