How to Simulate Pitch Speed & Hitter Reaction Time into One Easy Technique
by Robert Canary
(Don't worry, the pdf link included is easier to read than this pic)
While its hard to find pitchers to pitch consistently enough in practice, giving batters a better feel of higher speed pitches has always been a real dilemma for me.
However, after learning and making good habits of good mechanics, the only thing left for your young batter to experience is "Reaction Time".
I have discovered the reaction between certain speeds and distance are the same. Example: the reaction to a ball thrown at 105mph from 50 feet, is the same as 70mph from 40feet. (0.390 seconds or 390ms)
I did this because of try to get around limited space, and bad pitching machines that are to weak to produce higher velocities, or they are a nuisance to readjust. It seems to work, both my fastpitch students and my baseball students are staying right on target, despite the close proximity to the Iron Mike pitching machines we use.
I have attached a JPG file of the chart that I created showing reaction time. The chart was also useful for fielding. It allowed me to show the level of performance an infielder must achieve to beat a runner to base. This is why the chart varies between 10 feet and 105MPH, and 25MPH at 105 feet.
Here is a
link to the printable PDF chart
What are your thoughts?
Swing Smarter Response:
Robert, I like your style. I agree, once mechanics are at a maintenance level, to simulate faster reaction time for a hitter at higher pitched velocities is to cut the distance down and of course the speed...therefore, our pitchers don't have to throw as hard and the hitters get more consistent "accurate" pitches at higher simulated speeds.
I remember watching a baseball game when Edgar Martinez was still playing for the Seattle Mariners, and the commentators on TV had talked to Edgar about how he keeps himself so fresh in his solely DH role on the team...he replied close range BP where the thrower would toss a ball 45mph from 30 feet away, which translates (according to your pdf chart on reaction time) to roughly 90mph at 60 feet away.
I think I could throw pretty accurate at 30 feet, and definitely get up to 45mph...you see guys all the time do it at "Test Your Speed" functions in carnivals.
Awesome stuff Robert, you're a gentleman and a scholar :)