You spend hours in the cage making sure you're driving the fastball with calmness, toughness, and focus.
You work on hitting for a little more pop.
You work on driving the ball to the opposite field.
You're ready because you put in the work.
You're confident because you feel prepared.
The game starts...
You're facing a guy who pitches off of his breaking pitch.
He starts at-bats off with a curve-ball.
He throws one in a 2-0 count.
Heck, he even throws one in a full count.
You're just a dressed up out...
...you weren't so prepared after all.
At gameSense, we believe most hitters struggle with the breaking ball because they don't practice recognizing and adjusting to it in real time.
Train to see the breaking ball is our bread and butter at gS.
So as a hitter, what is the adjustment we need to make to see it sooner?
Try this tip...
Instead of looking for "spin" look for the "pop up".
Here's what we mean.
Typically, a breaking ball pitch will look as if it's popping out of the pitcher's hand when you compare it to the fastball.
When you train yourself to see the "popping out" of the hand, you'll be able to make the adjustment that much quicker.
Hitting the breaking ball really comes down to two things.
Recognizing the pitch early.
Anticipating where it's going to be after it breaks at the point of contact.
If you are mashing the fastball but look like a deer in the headlights on the curve-ball, train to see this pitch sooner and with quicker reaction in the gS vision training.
P.S. Remember, when you learn how to anticipate the breaking ball up in the zone, that's when you'll do the most damage.
There's a reason why pitchers are taught to keep the ball down. Unless the pitcher is throwing 95 mph+, all pitches up in the zone are mistake pitches.
When you get one...don't miss.