“You can’t hit what you can’t see” is one of the oldest examples of ballpark wisdom ever uttered. Followed closely in the pantheon of softball sayings by, “See it, Hit it!”. Now both of these gems are said over and over again for what appear to be obvious reasons, but after further review there may be some real wisdom in there after all.
When you watch a lot of hitters you come to see one very simple and horrifying reality: Many players have no idea what they are swinging at. They have clearly started swinging before they have even seen the pitch out of the pitchers hand and, in many cases, way before when the pitcher throws with real velocity. Hitters that guess are always going to be at a huge disadvantage and they often choose to guess because they are used to it, not because they think it will work!
Here in lies the challenge! Hitters really can “See it, Hit it” as long as they start training to do it on a regular basis. We need to help hitters understand that when they get ready in time that they can watch the ball out of the pitcher’s hand for a certain distance and allow their eyes to see where the ball is going.
Great hitters get to see the ball longer because they have done the things they need to do. When a hitter has great bat speed and gets ready early, they allow themselves to see the ball long enough to see the spin and speed of the pitch. And every pitch tells a story. Common sense tells us that the longer a hitter gets to watch the pitch, the better idea they have of where the ball will be when it gets to the hitting zone.
Crazy, I know. Watching the ball before I swing at it makes me a better hitter. Let the pitch tell you its story.