Most good baseball hitters eat fast balls for breakfast. Read this and there may be a curve ball on your breakfast menu also! Helpful info if you are a coach, a player, or a baseball parent and your son is struggling at the plate against the curve ball.
Recognizing a curve ball quickly is not an easy thing to do and hitting a well located curve is not easy either. That’s why you will hear the expression, “He’s a good fastball hitter” ten times for every one time you will hear, “He’s a good curve ball hitter.” I’m well aware that part of that is because there are many more fastballs being thrown, so of course more fastballs will be hit harder. But I’m also well aware that the movement on the curve makes baseball hitting much more difficult and the slower speed disrupts timing.
The quicker you can recognize that it’s the curve ball that the pitcher is throwing, the better chance you will have of hitting it well. Like we’ve said many times, a fraction of a second is an eternity when it comes to baseball hitting and it most certainly applies here. That’s why pitchers who have “late breaking” pitches are usually very successful, because the batter does not realize it is a breaking ball until it’s a fraction of a second too late.
How To Recognize The Curve Ball Quickly:
- Watch the release point of the pitcher very closely. The pitcher’s release point may be slightly different from his release point when he throws his fastball.
- Watch the trajectory of the ball as soon as it’s released by the pitcher. It could very well have a slight arc to it that is not present on the fast ball. This is one of the better baseball tips on hitting because it happens frequently.
- Watch the pitcher’s arm angle. There’s a strong possibility that with the fastball, the pitcher may come almost directly overhand and with the curve he may drop down a little bit.
- Practice watching as many curve balls as possible.
Let’s say you play three times a week and get about ten at bats per week. Out of those ten at bats, you see about one curve per at bat, which is about ten per week. I strongly suggest that to improve at recognizing a curve quicker, you must see more than ten per week. If you are serious about baseball hitting and having better at bats against the curve ball, here are some highly recommended baseball tips on hitting you should follow.
- Whenever you have batting practice with your team, ask your pitcher to mix in some curve balls during your last ten or twelve swings.
- If one of your pitchers is pitching batting practice, stand behind the backstop and practice trying to recognize his curve ball as quickly as possible.
- If one of your pitchers is throwing a “bull pen,” go stand nearby and watch him closely. Try to read the curve as quickly as you can.
If you’re serious about your baseball hitting, you will find the time to do these three things mentioned above. By doing them, you may very well be seeing 50 curve balls per week instead of only 10 per week. I’m well aware that it’s not as efficient as if you were up there hitting in the batter’s box but it will still improve your recognition of the curve. How can it not help? It has to help you and it will help you!
Hitting The Curve Ball:
Striving to have very quick hands should be on the top of everyone’s hitting list. If your hands are quick, you can “stay back” longer. By staying back and not over committing, this is extremely useful when attempting to hit the curve ball. There is much less of a chance you will be fooled by it and be off balance and too far out in front. There is no substitute for having quick hands.
“Hit it where it’s pitched.” An old cliché but a tough low and away curve ball with very good downward movement is not an easy pitch to hit. I highly recommend hitting it to the opposite field. Very few well located low and away curve balls are pulled by a batter and hit well. Very few.
Remember…this is simple math. Do you want to see ten curve balls per week or fifty a week? See as many as you possibly can and it will help you! Baseball parents, players and youth coaches, I post a new free baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding every week that you and other baseball people you invite will benefit by reading. Click here and scroll down the right hand side for more free baseball tips!