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Muscle Memory and Reaction
By, Mike Freire Master Hitting Instructor
Boston Baseball Institute
The sport of baseball is very unique. It is purely a skill sport. And skill is a learned dynamic. In other sports, you may be able to play at a competitive level simply because of your speed, size or strength. Not baseball. To play baseball at a competitive level, you must have superior body control and you must be mechanically sound. Both of these are learned through neuromuscular education. To develop these skills, it will take time, hard work and most importantly, proper coaching.
The muscles of the human body have a memory. When we repeat an exact motion (a baseball swing, for example) over and over again, the body will record and learn that motion to a point where we no longer have to think about it. It simply becomes how we move. If we continually repeat a mechanically poor swing over and over and over again, we will develop a muscle memory with poor mechanics. If we continually repeat a swing with correct, sound mechanics, we will develop a muscle memory of such.
This is particularly vital to baseball and even more specifically, a swing. Hitting a baseball is a product of muscle memory and reaction. We have under a second to react to a pitched ball. When we do react to a pitched ball, (hopefully) we will have developed the proper mechanics into muscle memory so that we will maximize our contact area and drive through it.