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What is a Sweet Spot?

A soccer player just after hitting the sweet spot on the ball.
In architecture, a sweet spot refers the specific areas in a structure, like a bridge, which can stand as a suspension or arch, reducing the amount of material needed to support the middle of the bridge.
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  • Written By: Matthew F.
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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A sweet spot is something that embodies the best or most effective of a thing, often a spot on a bat or racket. It is usually the most productive spot and the one that is striven for, because of a combination of qualities. This term is often used to describe the spot of optimum performance in tools such as a club or racket, and is known as the center of percussion.

The term is used most frequently in sports. A person can hit a sweet spot on a baseball bat, generally in the middle of the barrel section of the bat, that usually achieves top performance. It is important because it provides most speed, energy, and power. While swinging at a pitched ball if the batter hits the ball with this part of the bat, it will drive through the ball without rebounding backward from the force of the ball. Hits on other places are followed by a small rebound, which will slightly reduce the flight of the ball.

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Areas like this can be found in other sports with the same rebounding effect. For instance, a soccer ball has a sweet spot, but it can also be hit with the sweet spot of the foot. A golf ball can be hit in this way with the club or putter. A tennis racket and ball travels with the most natural flight when hit with this part of the racket. A football when punted moves with the most consistent spin on the sweet spot, and a volleyball hit just right produces no rebound effect.

There are also sweet spots in many architectural structures, such as bridges, which feature an area in the middle than can stand as a suspension or arch, and so reduces the amount of material needed to support the middle of the bridge. In electronics, too, this term refers to an area of maximum productivity or use, such as a place with optimum reception or calling capabilities in telecommunications.

A sweet spot can be referred to by a person as their field or action of top performance, or as a spot on the body that produces a most pleasurable effect. It can be found by a tattoo or piercing (often in the nose), or by a massage in many spots around the body. There can also be a sweet spot between two speakers where sound is where it was meant to be heard.

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Discuss this Article

anon278102
Post 5

I hear the term sweet spot used in a lot of conversations, like a sweet spot in sales, sweet spot is my new car. What a great statement.

kentuckycat
Post 4

@cardsfan27 - You are absolutely correct. I am able to hit the ball hideous distances simply because of my ability to swing hard as well as hit the sweet spot so often, however this can be said in a lot of sports.

A punter in football tries to hit the sweet spot of the ball in order to kick the perfect punt to make it goes its optimum distance and a tennis player tries to hit the ball in the sweet spot of their racket in order to ensure the quality of their hit.

It seems like the professionals are the ones that master the sweet spot and that is the reason why they are so successful in their sports and make their money.

I am guessing that with any type of sports equipment one must find the quality of the sweet spot and consistently be able to master it. I guess this simple advice is what separates the amateurs from the professionals in a variety of sports.

cardsfan27
Post 3

I play golf quite a bit and I have to say that this sport is so hard to play if one doe snot hit the sweet spot of the golf club.

It seems like when one misses the sweet spot they are punished by the golf gods by have the club shake weird and send a rattling up their arm. Also, their shot will almost always go offline and not go as far.

I am a big guy, about 6 foot 3 in and a small 5 foot 7 in kid can hit the ball a lot farther than me simply due to his ability to hit the sweet spot of the club. The sweet spot of the club makes his ball go at least 50 yards farther than mine and straight, while not matter how hard I swing I will get nowhere near as far as he hit it with an easy swing.

The key to a good golf swing is hitting the sweet spot and once one achieves this, they are able to be nearly unlimited in their power and they can realize how fa they will actually hit it and the great difference that it makes.

matthewc23
Post 2

@jcraig - You are absolutely correct. Most of the time college players that put up enormous statistics during their collegiate careers amount to nothing once in the minor leagues because they are relegated to using aluminum bats and one cannot simply have a mis-hit on a wooden bat and expect to have a lot of extra base hits or home runs.

Aluminum bats provide more room for error and a good enough player can get mis-hits off of them and still crush the ball, but with a wooden bat there is near impossible to do despite how strong the person may be.

Most observers do not realize the key to home runs is hitting the sweet spot of the bat and this is what provides the player with their power, not necessarily their strength hitting the ball.

So for a professional one must think that they are not only trying to make contact, they are trying to find a small portion of the bat in order to crush the ball. This is why they are professionals, because they are that good.

jcraig
Post 1

The sweet spot is known as the holy grail among baseball players. In order to become a really good ball player, let alone a professional one, they must be able to consistently find the sweet spot of the bat.

The sweet spot of the bat does not only make the ball go farther it makes the ball bounce off the bat harder, which makes it more difficult to field as well as ensures the person that they may have a chance of a hit.

Unless one has a ton of speed, they will not get a lot of hits if they consistently miss the sweet spot of a wooden bat. One could get away missing the sweet spot with an aluminum bat and bee a good player, if they are really strong, but with a wooden bat missing the sweet spot will cause the person to have a low batting average as well as ensure that they will not advance in their baseball career.

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