Hitting the Fastball
Hitting the Curveball
Curveballs and sliders, collectively called breaking balls, are generally easier to see, but still tough to hit because of their movement. Some hitting coaches in youth baseball or high school baseball will instruct a batter to look for a red dot caused by the spinning seams when hitting a breaking ball. Breaking balls may also have a ‘hump’ meaning they come up out of the pitcher’s hand, and back down before crossing home plate. The spin is in the opposite direction of a fastball so keep an eye out for that. Practice makes perfect, so try using a pitching machine that mimics curve balls or ask your baseball coach to throw them to you so you can learn to pick up the spin better.
Hitting the Changeup
A well-thrown changeup is the toughest pitch to pick up because it comes from the same arm slot, with the same arm speed, and should have the same spin as a fastball. Slower spin, that may cause the ball to appear as if it is tumbling towards home plate, or a pitcher slowing down their arm are good tips to pick up on a changeup.
The most focused batters can pick up the spin of the pitch right out of the pitcher’s hand. Keep your eyes on the ball and look for any differences in spin, flight path or arm speed you can see.
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