It is no secret that hitting a baseball out of the park is considered one of the most difficult challenges in sports. Batters in MLB have less than half a second to meet a 90 mph fastball with the bat’s sweet spot. This means there is virtually no other specific action in any sport that is as demanding to a player’s visual system. What remains a mystery is why so few coaches and managers ask their teams to utilize vision training, which will enhance their performance on the diamond.
The impact of sports vision training is still greatly underestimated. Many athletes, parents, and coaches believe vision is an innate skill and are unaware of the many ways to improve it, and, in turn, enhance a player’s overall athletic performance.
Recognize That Pitch!
There are many kinds of pitches, each with a self-explanatory name: the fastball is extremely fast, a curveball makes a downward curve, and a knuckleball - well, only a true baseball fan understands what that is.
For the batter, naming the pitch is not enough to hit the ball. He only has a fraction of a second to identify what’s coming at him and react accordingly. Keeping his eyes on the ball and assessing direction, speed, and motion is highly demanding for a player’s entire neuro-visual system.
5 Essential Visual Skills for Keeping Eyes on the Ball
- Speed of focus - The ball is racing towards you at a speed of 70 to over 100 miles per hour. As the ball moves, the eyes must constantly refocus.
- Eye teaming - The eyes must be perfectly synchronized to keep track of the ball in flight.
- Depth perception and peripheral vision - Both are critical in assessing the distance, direction, and speed of the fast-moving baseball.
- Convergence - To follow the ball as it flies towards you, a perfect convergence of both eyes is needed.
- Visual processing speed - The speed at which all this visual information can be processed inside the brain is critical.
Sports Vision Training as Part of the Regular Baseball Training Schedule
Training to increase strength, accuracy, endurance, and speed is a given in sports. In the same way that players can develop their physical and motor skills, they can improve eye alignment, depth perception, and any of the visual skills listed above through regular sports vision training. It can be an integral part of baseball training for every player.
Sports Vision Trainer our optometrists will create a customized training program for your players based on a sports vision exam that evaluates each player’s visual skills with a specific focus on baseball requirements. The players will each receive individualized training sessions at Dana Kindberg Optometry as well as additional exercises to carry out at home. A training program for your whole team can also be provided.
It’s still early in the season. Start helping each player boost their visual skills and performance. Take your baseball team to the next level. Contact our optometrists at Dana Kindberg Optometry today.
We train athletes from Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Clyde Hill, and throughout Washington.