“Improved Visual Acuity = Better Hitting” Part 2

March 8, 2013

Part Two:  Exercises for the Eyes

There are many exercise for increasing visual acuity and focus.  The best program is to create a regular routine of doing vision exercises and getting proper rest.  These drills/exercises will not only improve your baseball play BUT also your classroom and social skills!

  1. Have a teammate simulate a pitcher and go into his motion at regular speed.  Instead of throwing a ball, have him stop at the point of release and hold up 1, 2, or 3 fingers.  Batter must correctly say how many fingers he sees.  Batter should begin drill by focusing on the pitcher’s hat.
  2. Flash a piece of paper with numbers, letter, short words(sideways, upside down, backwards, etc) in no uniform fashion to a batter.  He must read them while being timed.
  3. A teammate holds a straw horizontally and at arm’s length. The other player must insert a toothpick into the straw.  May do the same with two ball point pens…insert the point of one into the closed end of the other pen.
  4. Extend your arms to full length with your two index fingers facing each other; they should be about 3’4 of an inch apart.  Bring the fingers, at eye level, towards you and focus on the space in between.  A “third” finger tip should appear.  Once it appears, pull the fingers apart slowly until the third one disappears!
  5. Take a bean bag and toss it in the air as you are bouncing on your toes.  Do 10-15 reps.  Now do it with your eyes CLOSED.
  6. Toss balls(softies or whiffles) from behind a batter.  The batter must look straight ahead and try to hit them.  Toss on a straight line without a lot of speed.  Stand back far enough to give the batter a chance!
  7. Take old balls and put either numbers or letters on them(one number or letter but on several spots).  Mix a bucket of assorted balls and throw them to a teammate.  Player must call the number or letter before catching the ball.  Best to use loud colors.  Can do the same while hitting soft toss.

Other Focus Drills:

  1. Shut your eyes and count your teeth.  Do it twice and see if you have the same number each time. To check, use your finger(wash first) and actually count them!
  2. Do soft toss and hit drills with a 1” dowel and a golf sized whiffle ball.  Go smaller if you can find the balls/dowel!
  3. Play card toss. Email Coach Phil for the rules/directions.  Improves quickness as well.
    Use the Townsend Hitting Disk or ABC hitting disk.
  4. Play penny ball.  Again, email Coach Phil.  Also, play FLIP, the card game!
  5. Do basketball “flick” drills.  Ball above head, arms hips-width apart.  “Flick” the ball with your fingers back and forth, 30 reps.  Will also strengthen wrists/forearms.