The Hardest Thing to Do In Sports

#76

peaygolf

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#76
I've still never seen one go in the hole. The 3 times that I have holed out from a distance for an eagle 2 were on uphill par 4's, and the lone hole-in-one I witnessed was on an uphill par 3. You could only see about half the flagstick or less on the holes.
I've probably holed out 20+ for eagle, but that stupid ace has eluded me.
In a college event.......I holed out from 245 for par after hitting OB and pitching out sideways for my 4th shot. Heck of a par!
 
#77

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#77
I've probably holed out 20+ for eagle, but that stupid ace has eluded me.
In a college event.......I holed out from 245 for par after hitting OB and pitching out sideways for my 4th shot. Heck of a par!
My nearest hole-in-one, and not in inches was on the same uphill par 3 that I witnessed my only hole-in-one. Not the same day though.

I step up with a 5 iron in my hand, wind blowing against, and right to left about a club and a half worth. I got a hook up in the wind, and it carried well left toward the woods. Knowing that it was going to be more than likely lost, I put another one down, same club. This time, I hit is perfectly, started it about 20 feet right, and watched it drift toward the pin.

We were walking, and I started toward the left woods while the other 2 walked toward the green. I found my ball right away, and pitched it up. I looked toward the green, and didn't see my provisional, but figured it might have gone over the green. When we checked, the provisional was in the hole, and I was on my way toward making bogey with the first one.
 
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#78

pismonque

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#78
I didn't say that a high schooler's 95 MPH pitch couldn't be timed and hit.
I hit the only grand slam of my life off of a guy who was throwing 93 mph that day in high school, but he wasn't even good enough to make it to AA.

But those guys who make it throwing 95+ in MLB throw pitches that MOVE. There are 14 year olds out there who can time a straight fastball. But what the TV cameras do not pick up is that the MLB pitchers 95mph fastball doesn't travel in a straight line. They move ever so much like I said before. Maddux from the Braves in his prime threw 90 and his fastball moved all over the place.

But that's okay--it's a fun conversation.

By the way....I would be interested in knowing what is, statistically speaking, the hardest thing to do in sports?
And it's not just the speed and movement but the mental game going on. Is he coming back with the heat again? Is this when the change-up's coming? Do I need to sit back on a curve this time? He's been setting me up low and outside, is he coming up and in now? Or is that just what he wants me to think?

That fraction of a second decision that has to be followed by precise execution is complicated by strategy, which can make all the difference.


By the way, the common phrase is “hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports”... not “hitting a 2-seamer off Aroldis is the hardest thing to do in sports”.
I think the common phrase refers to hitting a baseball safely off a quality MLB pitcher. I doubt high-schoolers or batting cages are implied in the mix, or that getting a bat on the ball is what they're talking about.
 
#79

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#79
God...don't get me started. Ive played for 41 yrs and never made an ace.........but I've witnessed 25!!!!!!!!!
It must be an epidemic. I played in college and have been between a 2 and 5 handicap for 30 years and I've never made one or witnessed one. I've lipped out, hit flags and even caved a hole in, but nothing has ever gone in.
 
#80

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#80
It must be an epidemic. I played in college and have been between a 2 and 5 handicap for 30 years and I've never made one or witnessed one. I've lipped out, hit flags and even caved a hole in, but nothing has ever gone in.
I was a 3 handicap, and have played for a long time, and have seen one ( not mine). I don't play but once or twice a year now, but I hit balls often, and chip and putt a fair amount when I'm in N.C. So, I don't have a handicap other than my age, which is a handicap when it comes to distance. I came with 5 inches of a double eagle once.
 
#81

peaygolf

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#81
It must be an epidemic. I played in college and have been between a 2 and 5 handicap for 30 years and I've never made one or witnessed one. I've lipped out, hit flags and even caved a hole in, but nothing has ever gone in.
2019! They will come in droves for us!!!!!!!
 
#82

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#82
It must be an epidemic. I played in college and have been between a 2 and 5 handicap for 30 years and I've never made one or witnessed one. I've lipped out, hit flags and even caved a hole in, but nothing has ever gone in.
....and I would say that you have played a lot with other good players.
 
#84

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#84
Yep. Plenty of people who routinely beat the hell out of me. I find it a lot crazier that I've never witnessed one.
I had probably played for 30-35 years before I saw my first and only one, and I always played with the best players around here. I thought that was odd, too.
 
#85

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#85
I didn't say that a high schooler's 95 MPH pitch couldn't be timed and hit.
I hit the only grand slam of my life off of a guy who was throwing 93 mph that day in high school, but he wasn't even good enough to make it to AA.

But those guys who make it throwing 95+ in MLB throw pitches that MOVE. There are 14 year olds out there who can time a straight fastball. But what the TV cameras do not pick up is that the MLB pitchers 95mph fastball doesn't travel in a straight line. They move ever so much like I said before. Maddux from the Braves in his prime threw 90 and his fastball moved all over the place.

But that's okay--it's a fun conversation.

By the way....I would be interested in knowing what is, statistically speaking, the hardest thing to do in sports?
I said it earlier, but saving a PK has to be in the tops of hardest things to do in sports
 
#87

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#87
I said it earlier, but saving a PK has to be in the tops of hardest things to do in sports
Lotta luck involved in that though. The keeper isn't expected to save a PK. It is more of a "it'd be nice if you did" kind of thing. Holes in one and double eagles are hard, but again, a golfer isn't expected to make those. It is luck when it does happen - you have to hit a great shot, of course, but nobody plays a round of golf seriously trying to hit holes in one or double eagles.

A hitter in baseball, however, is expected to get base hits in something like 27% of their at bats, on average. Good hitters are expected to get base hits 30% of the time or more and get on base 35-40% of the time or more. Given the lack of reaction time, pitchers changing speeds and velocities, etc., I think that is probably the hardest thing to do in sports. Especially because a player at that level is expected to be able to do it.
 
#89

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#89
Lotta luck involved in that though. The keeper isn't expected to save a PK. It is more of a "it'd be nice if you did" kind of thing. Holes in one and double eagles are hard, but again, a golfer isn't expected to make those. It is luck when it does happen - you have to hit a great shot, of course, but nobody plays a round of golf seriously trying to hit holes in one or double eagles.

A hitter in baseball, however, is expected to get base hits in something like 27% of their at bats, on average. Good hitters are expected to get base hits 30% of the time or more and get on base 35-40% of the time or more. Given the lack of reaction time, pitchers changing speeds and velocities, etc., I think that is probably the hardest thing to do in sports. Especially because a player at that level is expected to be able to do it.
With the speed and range of infielders and outfielders today, I don't see how anybody can get a hit.
 
#91

05_never_again

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#91
Yes, penalty kicks. And as for the other comment, you are expected to save at least one. If you don't do that, then your only hope of winning any shootout is the other team just missing the goal entirely.
If the shooter is putting the kicks with enough velocity in the corners, it is impossible to save them. All the pressure is on the shooter in a PK, because if the shooter executes there's nothing the keeper can do to stop it.
 
#93

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#93
Lotta luck involved in that though. The keeper isn't expected to save a PK. It is more of a "it'd be nice if you did" kind of thing. Holes in one and double eagles are hard, but again, a golfer isn't expected to make those. It is luck when it does happen - you have to hit a great shot, of course, but nobody plays a round of golf seriously trying to hit holes in one or double eagles.

A hitter in baseball, however, is expected to get base hits in something like 27% of their at bats, on average. Good hitters are expected to get base hits 30% of the time or more and get on base 35-40% of the time or more. Given the lack of reaction time, pitchers changing speeds and velocities, etc., I think that is probably the hardest thing to do in sports. Especially because a player at that level is expected to be able to do it.
What is another professional sport activity, along the same regularity as hitting a baseball, that has a lower percentage than 27% success rate? And batting average measures base hits. If the saying is "hitting a baseball" and not "getting a base hit", that's a big difference. Lots of ground-outs/pop-outs/etc.

I know nothing about soccer. Is 3 goals out of 10 tries good?
 
#94

05_never_again

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#94
What is another professional sport activity, along the same regularity as hitting a baseball, that has a lower percentage than 27% success rate? And batting average measures base hits. If the saying is "hitting a baseball" and not "getting a base hit", that's a big difference. Lots of ground-outs/pop-outs/etc.

I know nothing about soccer. Is 3 goals out of 10 tries good?
In PKs? No, that'd be terrible.
 
#96

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#96
What about just regular goals during a game?
Not sure. For a position like a striker, I suppose you could measure shooting percentage. No clue what a good shooting percentage is. It seems like the quality of the chances that are created is more important. If a goal scorer is consistently set up with great scoring chances, he'll probably score more goals than a better player who is set up with ones that aren't as good.

In hockey, a really good goal scorer will put about 12-15% of their shots in the back of the net. Alex Ovechkin's career shooting percentage, for example, is 12.6%. Does that mean that scoring a goal in hockey is harder than getting a base hit in baseball? I don't know. Also would seem to depend on whether or not a guy is a volume shooter (like Ovechkin is) or more selective. Almost 21% of Wayne Gretzky's shots were goals, which is insanely high, but still much lower than 27%, which is considered an OK batting average. There was much more to Gretzky's game than just scoring goals though - being a good hitter in baseball though is simpler proposition - if you hit below about .270, it is hard to be considered a great hitter unless you're routinely hitting for a ton of power.

5.5% of Tom Brady's passing attempts have been TDs, but he's completed 64% of his throws overall. Is is harder to throw a TD pass than get a base hit? I think there's more to the conversation than simply the rate at which one is successful.
 
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#98

pismonque

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#98
What is another professional sport activity, along the same regularity as hitting a baseball, that has a lower percentage than 27% success rate? And batting average measures base hits. If the saying is "hitting a baseball" and not "getting a base hit", that's a big difference. Lots of ground-outs/pop-outs/etc.

I know nothing about soccer. Is 3 goals out of 10 tries good?
That's just it, I would assume whoever says that is meaning that hitting a baseball successfully is the hardest thing, not just making contact with the ball. And by successfully, I'd assume that in turn would mean hitting safely or at least hitting productively.

There's nothing gained by a foul tip. I doubt anyone would ever seriously say that getting a bat to touch a pitched ball is the hardest thing in sports. That's why NL pitchers bunt with runners on, it eliminates a lot of difficulty.
 

05_never_again

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That's just it, I would assume whoever says that is meaning that hitting a baseball successfully is the hardest thing, not just making contact with the ball. And by successfully, I'd assume that in turn would mean hitting safely or at least hitting productively.

There's nothing gained by a foul tip. I doubt anyone would ever seriously say that getting a bat to touch a pitched ball is the hardest thing in sports. That's why NL pitchers bunt with runners on, it eliminates a lot of difficulty.
Yeah. I think that is where the "hardest thing to do in sports" thing comes from. Getting a base hit is something so integral to the game as a hitter, and the most successful hitters in any given year will fail to do so in roughly 70% of their at-bats.

Good QBs will fail to complete only 30-40% of their passes. A good shooter in basketball will fail to make about only 50-55% of their shots (although a good 3-point shooter will fail about 70% of the time, kind of like a good hitter in baseball). A good tackler in football is not missing something like 30% of their tackles.

Shooting percentages in hockey (and probably soccer) are lower than 30%, but there is also more to that guy's job than scoring goals.
 

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