Measure Time to Contact
Baseball and Fastpitch Softball
This Measure Time to Contact article is excerpted from The Ultimate Hitting Training Guide (click for a description of our new drills book).
For recommendations on how and when to use various training methods (dry, heavy bag, pylos, tee, toss, live, machine, etc.) and to shop for practical and durable training equipment click on the link Hitting Training Methods and Aids.
What is Time to Contact?
Time to contact is the elapsed time between the start of the downswing and impact. Three elements influence time to contact (swing quickness):
- Early barrel speed (click the link for how to measure early bat speed).
- Where the barrel starts at swing initiation and its path to the contact point (distance). Where hands load affects the distance the barrel must travel.
- Where contact occurs (inner vs. outer zone) (see Tool XXII: Early Bat Speed Drills, Drill II – Inner, Middle, Outer Zone Drill).
Time to contact is the primary indicator of quickness.
Why Measure Time to Contact?
By measuring and tracking time to contact, the concept for how to improve quickness (see three elements above) is instilled in hitters, directing future practice efforts.
The hitter improves upon what is measured and tracked.
What is a Bat Sensor?
Measuring time to contact is one of the vital analytics provided by a bat sensor. An advanced algorithm determines the beginning of the downswing to detect functional forward bat speed initiation.
How Measure Time to Contact?
Use a bat sensor and pitching machine or live BP. Once the hitter has their timing, use ten swings to measure the average time to contact using the metrics from the sensor. Make a routine of assessing time to contact at least once a month.
Other Swing Analytics Articles You May Find Useful
Click on the links below for further free swing analytic articles:
Building Rome Series Books: Building the High-Level Swing Series
Click Building the High-Level Swing Series to learn more about our new two-book hitting series containing a detailed and comprehensive description of 100 hitting fundamentals and 140 step-by-step drills that efficiently construct the batting swing from the ground up.
In the Building Rome Series of books, the construction of skills are in functional order, providing a “roadmap” to becoming a great hitter.
All baseball and fastpitch softball players can “climb the Roman Coliseum steps” to become a powerful and productive hitter.
Enjoy the quest!