“Hitting a baseball, I’ve said it a thousand times, is the single most difficult thing to do in sport.” - Ted Williams
And this comes from, arguably, the greatest hitter to ever have played the game.
So why is it so difficult to hit a baseball?
The simple act of taking a swing requires fairly advanced coordination and somewhat decent control of muscles. Trying to get a hit off an actual pitcher is a whole different story - beginning with the need for excellent vision, advanced hand-eye coordination and impeccable timing. On top of complete reflex and muscle control, a batter must have the strength and flexibility to fight off or quickly adjust to any type of pitch. And - quite possibly the most important and finely honed skill - the belief and trust in your instincts
It’s a tough task, but if done well, you’ll be lauded and revered by your teammates. One look at a great swing and there’s no question why the phrase “The Art of Hitting” exists. It takes work. Practice. Hours and hours of practice. Even the most gifted, natural born athletes have blistered their hands and bruised their shoulders in the cages, pick-up games or even when just taking swings. Every player has asked, or has to ask, “Is it worth it?”
The answer always comes the next time you hear the solid “crack” of a baseball off of a wood bat. The sound of a blistering line drive into the gap in left or a towering 400 foot homerun. There is no sound in the world like it and somehow, that sound alone, makes all of the hard work and endless hours of practice worth it.
Here are some great links to further explore the art of hitting, as well as some mentionings regarding baseball's return to wood.
More Players Breaking Their Tools
Traditionalists Engage in Losing Battle?