Professional baseball players are often asked the question of whether they play golf as well. This might seem a benign question from an unsuspecting individual, but baseball journalists have a good reason to ask. There is a common line of thinking that playing golf can ruin your baseball swing. Those two sports have a lot of similarities but also differences.
Here is why I think that playing golf is in many cases incompatible with baseball.
The perfect baseball swing demands a lot of practice time. Rarely do professional baseball players get the time to indulge other sports. As an amateur, you will be better off practicing on your swing rather than entertaining other sports, at least if you aspire to become a professional. Baseball is mostly a motor skill-driven sport. What I mean is that a combination of mechanical learning, muscle memory and skill is involved. By doing two different things at the same time, regardless of how similar they are, you are also training your brain and muscle to perform averagely in both. This is especially true for young children practicing their swing. This is a crucial moment in life where muscle memory is at its peak. Playing both sports will confuse the child and make him or her under perform.
Golf can still be played, but it should be done out of the season. If you have a major-league approaching then you are better off concentrating on your baseball swings and exercises. Out of the season, you can do anything you want, given that you don’t start playing golf more than you actually practice your baseball. Playing golf too much will make you start developing bad habits as baseball bats and golf clubs are held differently. You might, much to your dismay, confuse yourself in a big game.
Golf swings also require different muscles. When you start playing golf more than baseball, you also invite muscle soreness when you resume your baseball.
One of the main reasons why sports journalists also ask this question to professional players is that if the player has enough time and desire to play golf, then why is he neglecting his baseball? Is it because of a loss of interest? Ask any baseball coach around and you would find that they all aspire that their players devoted everything they have, including their time exclusively to baseball. This is not a wanton idiosyncrasy, as baseball coaches know very well that practicing anything other than baseball will dilute the player’s performance on the pitch.
There are of course exceptions. Some baseball players are highly gifted, and in fact, can play any sports they want and still be high performers and genius batters.
Professional baseball players like Greg Maddux excel equally in baseball and golf. When asked if golfing ruined his baseball swing, he chuckled and said that golfing was beneficial for him in the sense that he was better able to keep an eye on the ball. However, this is the exception, not the rule.
In conclusion, when I get asked of whether playing golf ruins your baseball on mdfallbaseball, then I respond with categorical YES. You will be better off practicing your swing that being on the golf pitch. Of course, this also applies to any other sport.
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