Many years before our time someone looked at a round object and decided to give it a name, the circle. Time changed that circle into wheels, balls, heck we even figured out that the world itself is nothing more than a big circle. A big circle of change. Nothing stays the same for long. So it is in baseball, especially in hitting a baseball.
Fortunately, somebody long ago decided to put a circle on the baseball field as well. They call it the “on-deck” circle, I call it the “circle of change”. It is here that good hitters make the change from “player” to “hitter”. If you have read many of my articles, you probably realize that I am a huge proponent of “seeing” the ball well to hit the ball well. The “circle of change” is where you begin the process of “seeing” the ball.
How many of you have sat in the backseat of your parent’s car on the way to a tournament? Let’s say you sat there for 2 or 3 hours looking out the window. Yet when you arrived at the ball fields you don’t remember a darn thing about what you were looking at on the way. How about at school? You read the chapter but you don’t remember a single thing about it when you get to the end. You looked at it, but you didn’t “see” it. In order to hit a baseball you have to “see” it, not just look at it.
While players are on the bench between at-bats most of them are watching the game, staying involved, ready to make an impact when their turn at the plate comes up. The process of hitting requires you to do much more than watch. Watching is good, seeing is better. Make the change in the circle. Start seeing the pitcher’s release point. Visually track each pitch from release point to contact or catcher’s glove. Begin to train the eyes to “see” and not watch. What is the fastball doing? See it. Is it tailing in or away? Is the pitcher working hitters inside or outside?
You have been blessed with the greatest, fastest, most remarkable computer of all time. It’s called your brain. The neat thing is you get to take that computer to the batter’s box each time you go to the plate. That computer can tell you every angle, calculate speed, spin, velocity and command your body to react properly to each and every pitch in order to make solid contact! It can do this in mere fractions of a second, every time! But first… it needs information, proper information. It can only receive this information from your eyes!
Pete Rose once said: “See the ball, hit the ball!” He collected more hits than any player in the history of the game. He didn’t say “Watch the ball,” or “Look at the ball.” He said “see” the ball.
Start seeing the ball in the “Circle of Change” and you will have much more success at the plate