Baseball season is in full swing, and that means practices are essential. Baseball and softball players are now working their tools and their bodies back into shape. Included in this maintenance is the sharpening of their pre-existing skills. Studies show that not practicing a skill will result in a reduction of that skill or even an eventual loss of that skill. For batters, one of the most important things is to keep their swings up to shape. After all, home runs aren’t possible without the swing of a batter. However, not all methods of practice are the same, and it is absolutely certain that hitting off of a real pitcher is more beneficial than hitting off of a pitching machine. Here’s why.
1. Pitching Machines are Predictable.
Part of the skill of a batter is being able to predict how the pitcher is going to throw the ball. Humans are sometimes predictable, but pitching machines are always based on algorithms. While this might be good for beginning batters, it is almost never a sustainable practice method. Algorithms can be cracked, and therefore require less thinking and observation on the batter’s part.
2. Pitching Machines Cost (a Lot).
The great thing about human pitchers is that they usually like doing the pitching. It helps them practice when they help you practice. Sure, their arms do get tired after a bit, but at the end of the day, it is usually worth it to build up the muscles and practice their trade. That being said, pitching machines don’t grow tired after throwing one too many balls, but they do happen to cost quite a bit of money. For example, pitching machines like the ones on http://pitchingmachinesnow.com/ can cost upwards of $1,000 each. While that might be in the ballpark for an amount that a professional team might be willing to spend, it certainly is not something that the everyday person is going to want to put into practice their batting.
3. Pitching Machines Don’t Give Feedback.
At the end of the day, one of the great things about practicing with your team is that you get to be treated like a human. Even if a pitcher foils your best batting efforts, they are going to tell you what you did right and what you did wrong. When you miss a machine’s pitch, it can’t do that for you.
In the end, it is important to consider what is dear to you. If getting a perfect hit each time is, then maybe a pitching machine is right for you. However, if learning how to fix your mistakes is the most important, then stick to practicing with your friends.