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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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:
- 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!
- 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!
- Play card toss. Email Coach Phil for the rules/directions. Improves quickness as well.
Use the Townsend Hitting Disk or ABC hitting disk.
- Play penny ball. Again, email Coach Phil. Also, play FLIP, the card game!
- 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.