Throwing Batters A Curve Ball

Throwing Batters A Curve Ball For those getting ready for Spring training, here's advice on getting past a physical barrier that may or may not be real. Baseball players will tell you that really good curveball pitchers make the ball break at a certain point in the pitch. This sudden shift of motion frustrates the efforts of hitters. It's the same with a fastball's rise or drop. But a study published in the journal PLoS ONE suggests it's all in the batter's head.

Analysis of curve ball pitches found that the ball travels a gradual parabolic path and that the 'break' is a trick of the eye. A typical hitter switches from central to peripheral vision when the ball's about 20 feet away. Because peripheral vision gets confused between velocity and spin the batter perceives a gap in the ball's true trajectory. A similar optical illusion takes place when fastballs sink or rise.

True Strength Moment: For every unhittable pitch there's a batter waiting to take a turn at humbling its pitcher. How the successful hitter manages to knock it out of the park is likely a combination of skill, experience and perseverance. Maybe the really good hitters never use peripheral vision, or maybe they've successfully trained themselves to look past the mind's visual tricks. Whatever the case, that's part of their True Strength as players.
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