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Misconception - Hitting is an Art, not a Science

  • by Coach Ross
  • 2 min read

There are a lot of interesting hitting theories out there, and while some are better than others, it’s safe to say that when it comes to batting - there is a great deal of individuality involved in the process.

One of the common misconceptions revolving hitting is the idea that hitting is an art, not a science. Ted Williams, widely renowned as the best hitter of all-time wrote a book called “The Science of Hitting” - I would say that qualifies as a misconception.

Ever since WIlliams and John Underwood unveiled their masterpiece to the world in 1971, it has been considered one of the classic handbooks of hitting. Throughout the book Williams covers a number of valuable points, including: Bunting, pitch selection, hitting to the opposite field, the secrets of hip and wrist action, the cardinal rules for developing a line drive swing and how to think like a pitcher.

The information presented by Williams throughout his 83 page picture book features priceless material for hitters of all ages, and as Williams points out in the first line of the book, “Hitting a baseball - I’ve said it a thousand times - is the single most difficult thing to do in sport.”

Interestingly, Williams didn’t believe that hitting was all about science. In the chapter, “Hit According to Your Style,” he discusses the role of individuality in the baseball swing. And, while everybody likes to talk about fundamentals, Williams rarely did. The “Splendid Splinter” valued the artistic side of the game.

“Except when something is radically wrong, you won’t find me doing much to alter a player’s style,” said Williams. “Show me ten great hitters and I’ll show you ten different styles.”

Considering the fact that Ted Williams wrote a book called the “Science of Hitting” and within the pages of the book he highlights the importance of individual style, it’s safe to say the ability to hit a baseball successfully requires both artistic and scientific abilities. Consider this concept as you strive to be like “Teddy Ballgame” and hit .400 in the big leagues.