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Do Pitching Machines Help Your Hitting? by John Marcus
One of the most widely asked questions of baseball and softball coaches is: do pitching machines help your hitting. Although having a pitching machine one hand does certainly give your hitting game an extra boost, it is certainly not essential to have a machine in order to be successful on the baseball diamond. In most instances, coaches suggest that all baseball or softball players should spend some time working with a pitching machine, but not devote their entire hitting practice to a machine.
The biggest complain that both coaches and players have of pitching machines is their consistency. Although consistency in hitting and pitching is generally a good thing, pitching machines can provide you with the same pitch each and every time, often allowing the pitcher to relax since they essentially know what is coming. In this case, pitching machines can make a player become overconfident or cocky, which can be detrimental when game time rolls around and a pitching machine is replaced by a real, live pitcher. If you are interested in using a pitching machine, consider a model that will vary the speeds and pitches served to you so that you do not fall into the pitching machine routine.
However, the problem of consistency is often overpowered by the positive attribute of using a pitching machine. For example, a pitching machine can help a baseball of softball player by providing them with a way to practice their technique. Even though they may not hit the ball, the technique of the swing and follow through is crucial and easier to teach in using a pitching machine than an actual pitcher. Choose a pitching machine with several speeds so that a beginning player can better practice his or her swing technique in addition to keeping his or her eye on the ball without threat of being injured from high speed pitches.
In the end, the choice of whether or not to use a pitching machine in practice is left up to you. If you do elect to include a pitching machine into your practice routine, be sure to interchange it with time with an actual pitcher who performs a variety of pitches, including balls so that you know what to expect in game play. Typically, players who perform well in the batting cages with pitching machines find their game is less effective on the baseball diamond when they are pitted against an actual pitcher. The reason tends to be because the consistency of a batting machine tends to lure you into the false security that each and every pitch will be perfect. For this reason, you may not be skilled at deciphering with pitch is good and should be swung at verses those pitches that should be left to slide past without swinging.
John Marcus specializes in Sport Equipment and pitching machines
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