• David Quattro

Hitting the Curveball.... Optical Illusion?

Hitting the Curveball They say hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do sports. What about hitting the curveball? Some would say that a curveball is an optical illusion. Don't believe me? Arthur Shapiro, a professor at the College of Arts and Sciences at American University, Washington DC, specializes in the areas of visual perception and cognitive neuroscience. He is best known for creating a series of visual phenomena ("illusions"). The illusions elucidate the connections between perception, the brain, and the physical world.

Check out this study: http://www.wired.com/2010/10/curveball-illusion/ Cool eh? Now Check out this video on YouTube and focus on the fixated point on the right and you will see the ball, but if you look at the trajectory of the ball it is proceeding in a straight line.

Do you still think that a curveball curves? Most batters have an approach where their timing is based off of the fast ball. This Is what differentiates good hitters from elite hitters. Most good players will be able to hit a 90+ mph fastball, but it's their ability to adjust both mechanically and mentally that separate them from the rest. If we use the concept of Prof. Shapiro we have to understand that as a batter, we have to let the ball get back into our peripheral vision. Many coaches, as well as my own have used cues such as stay back, let the ball get to you, don't lunge etc, but what about the mechanical and mental approach?

Mechanically a batter must let his weight get onto the front side, but not allowing any wait to get onto his front toes. When in that position, it will allow for the front side to brace it's forward momentum and stop the batter from committing the swing too soon. Using both the mechanical and mental aspects of hitting the curveball will help your athletes benefit the most.

Dont forget the domino effect and stay in sequence!!!

David Quattrociocchi