This has been a heated debate for the longest time among athletes and critics alike. What is the hardest thing to do in sports? Is it a slam dunk from the free throw line? A hole-in-one? A goal from a corner kick? According to physics experts, it’s hitting a baseball.
According to Ted Williams, hitting the ball is the single most difficult thing to do in sports. In fact, if a player can hit three times out of ten, he’s considered a good performer, according to Williams. So what makes this feat so hard to accomplish?
Let’s first look at the situation. A baseball is almost three inches in diameter and can reach speeds up to 100mph. The area where the ball hits the bat has less than the diameter of the ball. And a trip from the pitcher’s hand to the home plate leaves the hitter less than half a second to decide whether to swing or not.
The hitter also has to identify what kind of pitch was thrown. Is it a fastball? A curve ball? Keeping an eye on the ball is not an easy feat. The angular velocity of the ball gives it the appearance of suddenly speeding up as it approaches the batter.
And hitting the ball isn’t just about whacking it. Players have to hit it where fielders are not present or out of the park.