Vision Training

by chris jones
(Franklin, TN. )



Vision Training in Baseball and Softball is something we feel is much overlooked. Most coaches stress following the ball but most players really do not know what they are looking for in ball movement. We work with all types of athletes from Major League to entry level players and we find that Vision, as how it pertains to tracking and hitting, is something that needs to be worked on just as much or more as athletes work out other muscles in there body to prepare for battle on the field of there dreams. Eyes are a muscle just like any other muscle in the body, they need to be trained to focus on moving objects with Central Vision instead of Peripheral Vision and our training does that. We are part of High Tech Vision Training out of Washington State. High Tech Vision Training has been in Major League Baseball for over 10 years starting out with the Seattle Mariners and has trained such players as Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzaki.

Vision as it pertains to Stick and Ball sports is broke down into two types of players, one being that Central Vision is mainly used for tracking and hitting and one being a player that uses both Central and Peripheral Vision when tracking and hitting. The biggest tracking issue we see is that Central Vision is used initially by the hitter when the pitcher releases the ball then 20 ft from the hitter, which we call the “Blind Zone”, the player looses sight of the ball and it falls into the players Peripheral and that is where the player will completely break down with there hand eye coordination when trying to connect with the ball. For every 10 degrees the ball falls outside the players Central Vision and falls into the Peripheral Vision the break on a curve ball is one foot. When you see a player miss a curve ball by a long way you know that player is not using there Central Vision to focus all the way through the path of the ball.

Our training program consists of a number of drills that work on Central Vision to primarily be used in focusing on the ball, something similar to the focus of a pair of binoculars, that is the focus and concentration we build into players. High Tech Vision Training hitters outside of our training apply our Central Vision training to use the red seams on a ball for pitch recognition. A knuckle ball will appear whiter because it’s not spinning, a fastball will be redder and appear to be spinning upward, a good tight slider will appear as a red dot and with curve and changeups our hitters are able to adapt because they do not loose sight of the ball. The ball is telling you all the information you need, the idea is once you see it you adjust to use it to your advantage. High Tech Vision Training also “slows the game down” in relation to what the player is actually seeing from the pitcher to the hitter. A 90mph fastball will appear to be in slower motion when a player uses there Central Vision and can see the ball all the way through the hitting zone.

High Tech Vision Training also builds one other important factor into a hitter, a new found relaxation in the box because the hitter is waiting to hit the ball when and where they want to hit it. We have taken some of the most nervous hitters and completely changed there game because they now see the ball which is the most important factor we feel to make a complete hitter.

Our training program has proven results and proven hitters.

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Central Vision Training with a softball
by: Dan

Chris,

Thank you for your note. It is a very interesting concept and one that makes sense. One thing we have worked with our hitters on is watching the ball into the catchers glove during practice while not swinging. This forces them to learn to follow the ball longer.

Your approach takes it to a whole different level. I understand how this might work with a baseball and the red seams. How does this work with a yellow softball with yellow seams? Can the hitter pick up and distinguish the seams from the ball? Your notion of watching the seams to determine what type of pitch it is would be a huge asset to a softball player, since the pitches in softball can go in more directions than in baseball. It would be interesting to understand this further.

Thank you, again, for your post.

Kind regards,
Dan

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